Women over 50 have the skills, experiences, and talent to be successful entrepreneurs. As seen in the recent post, The Senior Startup: Tales from the Second Act, there are powerful stories of women who have made the leap to make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality.
What should you be considering if you are thinking about starting your own business? Here are seven top tips for senior women entrepreneurs.
1. Understand Potential Customers
Potential entrepreneurs should consider the needs and wants of their potential customer base before venturing forth. What do would-be customers expect? What problems do they have that need to be solved? What kinds of services or products would appeal to them? How much would they pay for those offerings?
Understanding the customers’ motivations and pain points also positions you and your future company as a thought leader who will look for solutions.
2. Have a Business Plan
Developing a business plan is important for several reasons. If you are seeking commercial or venture small business funding, the plan articulates your market, finances, products, customers, and needs. Thinking about your financial projections, marketing plans, staffing strategy, and growth projections can help to articulate how your business is built and where to prioritize.
3. Firm Up Personal Finances
You need to make sure your personal finances are in good working order … and not only for those who will examine your finances if seeking a loan. You also want to be sure you understand completely how your personal income, expenses, savings, and other commitments will be affected by going into business, especially in the early months when the business is still getting off the ground.
4. Leverage Your Network
You have a vast network of friends, former co-workers, family members, classmates, and acquaintances who can be tremendously helpful to you when starting your business. Be sure to tap into this valuable resource to gain perspective, insights, and advice when you need it. Your network can also be a source of new people, from advisors to customers, so be sure to let your network know about the business, who it is meant to serve, and the products and services being offered.
Also, explore if there are local or virtual networks you can tap into in your community or profession. Many areas have networks, meetups, or formal organizations of women business owners or entrepreneurs that can provide invaluable help to those just getting started.
5. Explore Federal Programs
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers many programs specifically for women entrepreneurs. These programs include 100 Women’s Business Centers across the country that offer assistance to women looking to start or grow their own businesses; funding programs for small businesses, including for those in disadvantaged areas; and a federal contracting program that helps women-owned businesses compete for business for contracts with government agencies and departments.
6. Separate Work and Home Life
This is a difficult step for many people, but for business owners, there is a greater tendency to take work home with them. You need discipline to not take calls and emails at home, as tempting as it can be to be always available.
7. Find Your Passion
You want your work to be focused on something that matters to you. That means taking a close look at what excites you, what is important, and what you like to do. If you can create a business that meets those needs, you are one step ahead.
Benetrends helps companies and entrepreneurs find their passion and the financial support to launch or grow a business. Learn how you can leverage existing 401(k) or IRA funds to give you the capital you need to start your own business; schedule a consultation.