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Women Owning the Workplace: Tips to Guide Female Entrepreneurs

Jul 18, 2008
Women are taking the business world by storm, and it doesn't look like they're backing down. According the Womenentrepreneur.com, women-owned firms are the fastest growing in the country. Women are looking beyond the traditional roles and moving ahead to a new role: entrepreneur. This does not necessarily mean women are swapping roles with their spouses (although some are), but they simply may be adding owning a business to their list of daily duties.

If you're one of the many women considering going entrepreneur, it's important to do your research first. Starting up a business is no easy task and many people get into trouble by diving in without any thought. Consider some of these tips to help you prepare yourself for the task ahead.

First, figure out what type of business you want to start. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to start a business dealing with something of no interest to you. Before you pick, think about your talents and passions. These are two key factors in choosing what type of business to run.

Once you've decided on your type of business, you can start focusing on that line of work.

Next, find a place to host your business. Many women start their businesses out of their homes--but it's important to be careful.

If you want to start your business at home, be sure to find a place in your house that is "strictly business." This area should be removed from the rest of your home and preferably have a door to close out the noise of a busy home. Also, you should try to get a phone line specific to your business instead of using your home phone number or cell phone. This will create a more professional feeling for customers.

Two of the biggest hurdles women face when starting a business are poor financing and lack of experience. Remedy the first by waiting until you are financially stable before you quit your current job to start a business. Take into consideration all the costs associated with starting a business: rent, supplies, employee salaries, etc.

When it comes to experience, just starting your business increases your knowledge However, avoid some of the problems encountered by inexperienced business owners by using mentors and other contacts to gain advice. Try finding women in your area who started their own businesses and ask for tips.

Before opening your doors, think about the time needed to start and run a business. If you are a mother who wants to be able to take care of her kids, realize this may not always be possible with the time demands of a business. Going back to school also may hinder your ability to start and run a business effectively. Look at the factors in your life that take up most of your time and weigh out your options.

Besides thinking of time restraints, also realize the risk of starting your own business. Many women look at starting a business as an opportunity to be their own boss and keep more of the profit, but there are snags in this dream.

Many businesses take 3 or 4 years to start up, and during this time may barely break even. Be sure to have a back-up plan in case your business doesn't catch on as quickly as you imagined. Also, being your own boss may seem glamorous, but this responsibility leaves only you to worry about financial situations and deal with employee issues.

Once you've considered the above factors, you're ready to start your business. The first months or year may be a challenge, but the rewards of completely owning a company are priceless. Just be sure to keep it all in perspective; most women entrepreneurs don't own Fortune 500 companies. Don't be afraid to allow your business to stay small rather than stretching your limits to grow. Finally, get support by joining networks such as entrepreneur.com or we-inc.org (Women Entrepreneur, Inc.) to get helpful tips and network with other female entrepreneurs.
About the Author
Melissa Mashtonio writes for Manta.com, the go-to site for researching company profiles. The site (http://www.manta.com) offers free research on more than 45 million companies in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the UK.
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