Women are excelling in small businesses. They start businesses faster than the national average, are more likely to succeed and are experiencing dramatic increases in employment, revenues and net income. And while a great number are home-based and sole proprietorships, women-owned businesses have grown significantly in nontraditional industries such as construction, wholesale trade, agriculture and manufacturing. So how do you decide what business to start? Before you delve into the many possibilities, consider your likes and dislikes to narrow the field. Success smells sweeter when you are doing something that you are passionate about.
The types of service businesses women start run the gamut. The Center for Women and Enterprise (CWE) in Boston, Massachusetts has helped more than 15,000 women start businesses, most of which are service businesses. The types of businesses CWE clients have started are testimony that anything can be a business. One woman made a business from her passion for gravestone rubbing. Another took her hairdressing skills on the road to help people who are unable to travel. Other service businesses include cleaning service, concierge service, dog walking, personal fitness, private chef, holistic life coaching, dance instruction and race relations consultant. Service businesses are the least expensive to start and have the potential of being profitable in the first few weeks.
While women tend to start more service-type businesses, other types of business include retail furniture stores, online children’s bedding, photography studios, dance studios, craft cooperative gift shop, online jewelry store and custom protective packaging.
Top Franchises for women include medical billing, tax consulting and payroll services, non-medical in-home care, financial services, tutoring, jewelry distributorship, interior decorating, vending, childcare and fashion. You can research franchises according to specific criteria such as home based, low investment, higher income, staff, experience preferred and no experience necessary.
Getting financing can be difficult, especially in these tough economic times. Traditional banks are still lending money for start-ups. Requirements may be stricter, but you can be successful at getting the money you need to start your business if you present a well-researched business plan complete with financial projections. You must also have a good credit rating. There are also grants available for women entrepreneurs that you can learn about from the Internet, for starters.
Whether you decide to start your own business or buy a franchise, create a business plan that includes finance projections, a marketing strategy and an exit strategy. Without a plan you are working blind and unprepared for the challenges that will come with the territory. A business plan will help ensure your success.