More women are developing more businesses than ever before. As of 2014, there were nearly 9.1 million women-owned businesses – businesses that juice the U.S. economy by $1.4 trillion in revenues and provide 7.9 million American workers with a paycheck.*

Woman are no longer limited to traditional careers. Today, if it can be done, it can be done by a woman with the next great idea – and the opportunity to design a career.

Maybe you have a great idea, but you don’t have a clue how to turn that idea into a company that grows and earns money for your household. Here are some tips to get you started with your start-up.

First, develop a business plan. There are hundreds of free business plan templates online. Download the one that best suits your vision and start filling in the blanks. Starting with a business plan does a couple of things for you. It takes you through the steps you’ll have to take to create your vision – down to the smallest detail, the minutia of how you make money.

The second thing a business plan does is make you think about solutions to challenges. How are you going to raise capital? Find the right space? Find suppliers, manufacturers, shippers, distributors – you have to fill in those blanks when you create a business plan.

When you’ve got a well-researched, step-by-step plan to reach reasonable goals, you have a road map to follow right from the start. It’s your first challenge, it’s your first step.

Second, get your start-up cash. You’ll need money to start any business – even if it’s just you working out of the spare room. You’ll need money to live on as you develop a client or customer base. You may have to buy raw materials, or inventory at wholesale to sell at retail. How much will that cost? Did you factor in storage costs? Order fulfillment costs? Postage?

Traditional lenders are less likely to provide business financing for a start-up with no track record of business success, but there are sources of financing available to women entrepreneurs.

One resource you should contact (right away) is the Small Business Administration. This federal agency is in the business of helping start-ups like yours.

The SBA doesn’t actually lend money to women-owned businesses, but they can facilitate raising start-up business capital. More importantly, the SBA is a great resource for information for woman entrepreneurs. Need help with challenge #1 – writing a business plan? Click here for some help from your Uncle Sam.

Also, be sure to check out the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. This SBA office’s mission “is to establish and oversee a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) throughout the United States…”

The SBA maintains offices across the country. The Nevada District Office of the SBA is located in Las Vegas, and an office in Reno serves all areas outside of southern Nevada. For contact information, see Make an appointment with an SBA professional to discover all the help available to you in one place. It could be the best call you make during the start-up phase of any woman-owned business.

Find a mentor. Join the local Chamber of Commerce, local and regional industry groups, service organizations, woman in business groups – there are plenty of opportunities to find the right person from whom to learn – a person you admire and who’s achieved the levels of success you expect from yourself.

Find the right person and perhaps learn the secrets of business success from someone who’s done it. Don’t be gender-specific in choosing a mentor. Look for a business owner or serial entrepreneur who can show you how the real world works.

Talk To Your Business Banker

Your local bank representative knows your service region, knows business synergies to help you and other business customers, and can help with everything from online banking to helping prepare an SBA loan application.

Contact your local business banker and the closest office of the federal government’s Small Business Administration. Then, build your business.

Click here for an article to help you decide if Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) certification is right for your business.




The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.