If there's one thing that women have proven they can do, it's that they can break down barriers. The last century has seen incredible strides for women all over the world, particularly in the business world. According to the State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, the number of businesses owned by women in the U.S. has doubled over the past two decades, with 849 new women-owned businesses starting per day in 2017.
Thanks to a business environment that is steadily growing more equal, more and more women are choosing entrepreneurship as a viable career path. If you're one of the many who are planning to start a business, here's what you should know about building your company from the ground up.
Map Out a Plan
Successful businesswoman and author Rhonda Abrams believes that writing out a plan can be a great way to help you structure your goals.
Your plan should help you consider what projects you should pursue, who your most profitable customers are, what gives you the edge, and how much funding you'll need. While you don't have to get bogged down with the details, figuring out your next steps is always important.
Pick the Right Business Structure
The next thing you should do is figure out the business model that works best for you. Should you register as a sole proprietorship, or look into incorporation? What are the pros and cons? For example, registering as an LLC offers legal protection and flexibility that other business structures may not have.
An LLC has more forgiving tax allowances, and helps you protect your personal assets and business assets in case you encounter any unforeseen crises. If your goal is expansion, sole proprietorship might not offer the best support, so make sure you do your research and find out what works for you.
Look for Your Niche
Another thing you'll want to do is to, of course, look for your niche. In our article 'Choosing the Right Niche: The Secret to Profitable Online Stores', we outline several ways to help you figure out what sets your business apart from the rest.
What problems can you solve? Are there gaps your competitors aren't covering? What's profitable and realistic? Asking these questions can be an important first step in formulating a brand that's fresh, unique, and can capture the attention of the market.
Finally, if you're planning to start up a business then you need to get creative. Despite recent advances in gender equality in the field of entrepreneurship, Forbes reports that funding for women-owned businesses has sadly not kept pace with the growth of other types of support.
While this can be a setback, it's important to see it as a challenge rather than as a barrier. You can turn to programs like the National Business Council's Grow Her Business, which gives you access to resources and networks of other women entrepreneurs. You can also look at low-budget, out-of-the-box marketing on social media, or organize events within your local community. While the work may be hard, it's not impossible, and soon you might see your company grow into one of the many success stories of women-led businesses in the country.