5 tips for women to start a business

More and more women are starting their own businesses these days as more women are getting aware of the opportunities in entrepreneurship.

Here are some tips  for women who want to launch their businesses and who need to attract money to their business.

1. Talk about your vision. One way to get an investor to buy into your vision is to be able to sell your idea in short and clear sentences.

Experts say you need one or two lines that sum up your product or service. The key is to be able to get your success story out of your mouth in a clear, succinct manner. You may want to include a cogent example of how a customer would use your product or service.

2. Know your market/customers. To get a solid grip on the potential size of your customer base, ask yourself what niche am I trying to carve? Is it crowded area or am I blazing the trail.

The Managing Director of Wood etal, Mrs Omololami Ajani, speaks further on this, “Know your customers what they are willing to pay for your service/products and what do competitors charge. Also, know what your customers want and monitor your customer inventory closely. For instance in my line of business as a furniture manufacturer, I have come to know that many clients don’t like furniture made from white and bright colours. So, I don’t make them to showcase in the workshop no matter how I like bright colours. I will make such on demands. So, know clients and what they want.”

3. Be sure of your  current finances and financial needs. Know  the financial details of your business. It’s important to be able to answer questions such as ‘What are the capital needs of the business now and over time? What’s your profit over a period of time.?  Ajani  gives this advice. “ Do a weekly cash flow plan and then monthly and then annually. Know the expected sales and the actual sales. And remember, if you don’t have what you are doing in black and white (written down), you are not in business,”she said succeintly.

4. Don’t hesitate to ask people you know to invest. Men are more likely than women to tap networks of close friends and business acquaintances, according to studies. However, that is changing. For finance to start your own business, the C.E.O of Hatlab Ice Cream, Abuja, Mrs Latifat Balogun, said you most not wait for loans from banks. Leverage on your relationship with family and friends.

“A lot of times, you don’t even need bank loan. Sometimes if you have a good relationship with family members and friends who can borrow you money, you can get funds. Sometime ago, someone borrowed me five million naira without collateral. Leverage on those you have around you and friends. But, you must pay back the debt,” Balogun enjoins.

5. Hire those who love what you do. Just like your real baby, you want to hire a nanny that loves your child almost as much as you do. That’s what fosters a healthy, happy baby.  The same goes for your business. Hire those who love what you do.

Again, outline the key people you need over the next one year and recruit them. They may work for you part-time until you get enough funding to hire permanent staff.

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