Alexa von Tobel heads LearnVest, a start-up providing financial advice and is determined to see her fledgling company grow, a New York Times article reports. Ms. von Tobel hopes that her company can develop to such an extent that it can be an affordable financial advisor for the masses. She has ambitious plans for her company, as do many women entrepreneurs stepping out to start their own businesses. According to The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report 2013 by American Express OPEN, there are 8.6 million businesses in America that are owned by women and the rate of women-owned businesses has increased by 59 percent between 1997 and 2013. Women are definitely making waves on the business scene.
If you’re looking to set up your own business, there’s no time like the present! Here are five tips for the budding businesswoman that can help you think big, smart and fast- three important ingredients to fast-track you on the road to success.
1. Don’t be afraid of experimenting
To know what works, you’ll have to test the waters first. Experimentation helps to collect information, assess your competition and drive you towards your big master plan, says a Forbes article. Support other women-driven initiatives to make a bigger impact. Taking risks in the initial stages is a strategy that will pay off in the long run as you look to strengthen your business.
2. Develop smart marketing plans
Business is all about networking and having a smart marketing plan helps convert contacts into customers, says an ABC News article. Geri Stengel, the founder of digital media and market research companyVentureneer, gives some tips on how to broaden your network in an Inc. article that shares the secrets of successful women entrepreneurs. Social media is an important tool that can be harnessed by a new business owner. According to the 2013 Small Business Success Study by Thehartford.com, more women allude to social media as a major contributor to their small business.
3. Need money? Think of crowdfunding!
Crowdfunding i.e. asking your family or friends to contribute towards your start-up is an innovative way of getting funds for your business, says the ABC News article. These friends or family members become the early “investors” for your new business. The National Federation of Independent Business gives the 101 on crowdfunding and how to raise money through this technique.
4. Purchase adequate business coverage
One disgruntled client can collapse an entire business. Guard yourself from expensive lawsuits or damages by purchasing enough insurance to cover your business. Business insurance is costly, but it is essential, says a post on the blog Future Simple. A Forbes article explains the 13 types of insurance for every small business owner. It’s important to consider different options to match your business requirements and budget. For example, a business that deals with sensitive information should definitely have a data breach policy.
5. Follow in the steps of success
There have been plenty of successful businesswomen before you and it’s important to understand what they did that made them a great success. Melissa Pickering, founder of iCreate to Educate, an education software developing company, found that talking to experts helped her focus on her business goals. Incorporating the advice of those who have achieved success is important, she shares in a Forbes article.
As more women look to start businesses, the U.S. Small Business Administration provides resources that will help women get a head start on inching closer towards their dream project. Have you been dreaming of starting your own business? Take small steps towards big plans for your venture. The time is now!