Though many of us would love to bask in the glory of being our own boss, the reality is this: It’s hard. With that said, it’s not the road for everyone but many still travel it and WIN! Particularly as of late, a record number of minority women have been coming up big in the small business arena.
According to the 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, African American women now own more than 2 million businesses, making them the leading female minority group of business owners today. However, the road to success is not without its share of struggles rooted in both systemic sexism and racism. So, for all you young, up-and-coming lady entrepreneurs, here are a few tips to be mindful of;
Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Advice
Remember there are many women who have been in your shoes, had setbacks, thought it would never happen because things weren’t going as planned. Well, what would’ve happened if they had given up? They certainly would not be here to help individuals like yourself, right? In short, when deciding to take on a business venture of your own, mentorship from other lady bosses can encourage and inspire you to keep going. And they can help you navigate challenges in networking and receiving funding – which is one of the major hurdles many minorities face in the start-up stages. Keep reaching out until you find one or two women who inspire you and are willing to share their time and experience with you and maybe one day you can do the same for someone else. Win, win!
Prepare Your Funding Properly
In business, preparation is key. Avoid underpricing your services by researching the market beforehand to know your worth. Though it may seem dismal, starting small and selling products at an early stage of your business will help grow your customer base. For example, start with advertising and marketing in your local community first. This will help you build a solid reputation and bring in moderate proceeds. Once you have established a firm – if small – foundation, perhaps you want to take your business statewide and beyond.
Find Your Strength
Next, do not concern yourself with what anyone else is doing. As previously referenced, market research is essential – especially on the subject of doing what works for you. Conduct your own findings to identify a community that is most in need of your services and start there. Many people make the mistake of not identifying a target audience right from the start.
The most successful businesses did not start off with mass appeal; they reached that point by beginning small. When you know what direction you are going, the things that make your brand different will prove to be a strength when it’s all said and done.
Surround Yourself with Competent People
Aim to connect with individuals who have the same types of goals you do. People whose visions are aligned with yours. This is what we call your tribe. These are the folks you can talk to about the interests and challenges you have in common.
In addition, keep in mind that, though your family and friends may mean well, they are not always the best ones to gauge your new landscape proposal or to take advice from. For example, instead of having your cousin in college write out a business plan, hire a professional to help you create exactly what you need. Taking the extra time, and a little additional money, can go a very long way in the big scheme of things.
In conclusion, being a successful woman in business all comes down to confidence. It’s important to take pride in what you do and have belief in your skills, even in the face of challenges.
So, we hope this helps you a bit on your journey! Enjoy your accomplishments and be proud of them. And don’t be afraid to take those chances.
Now go do the damn thing!