Starting a business can be scary. Especially when you are a woman. There was a time women couldn't even open a checking account, let alone get a business loan. Thankfully those days are long gone, thank you Ruth! Not only are women opening businesses, before the pandemic women in the United States were starting new businesses twice the rate of men! Women-owned enterprises represented over 40% of all businesses in the U.S. If you are a woman and considering starting your own business, now is the time. We have some tips to help get you started.
You’ve probably done so already, but be sure that there’s actually tangible market demand for your business offering and work out where you stand in relation to your nearest competitors.
One example of a female-owned business that did this is Casa de Corazón. This is not your everyday childcare facility. Natalie Standridge, Founder & CEO Casa de Corazón, learned that early exposure to other languages helps foster creativity, establishes confidence, and promotes critical thinking. Casa de Corazón encourages a second language immersion in all early childhood classes from the very start of an individual's journey with education.
Particularly if you’re a B2B business, LinkedIn is a great place to network and over the past couple of years, the content shared on it has become less stuffy and traditionally corporate, and more personable, relatable and (dare we say it!) fun. If you can network in an authentic, relaxed but authoritative way on the platform, you’ll nurture valuable leads over time. Not only that, it can even turn into a business idea!
Take City Mom Collective. In 2010, two friends, Steph Flies & Joy Cherrick, started Scottsdale Moms Blog out of a desire to connect moms in their community. They saw a need for moms to be able to share local information, recommendations, and build friendships all from the convenience of their mobile devices. The next year, women all over the country began approaching them to do the same thing in their cities. City Mom Collective was formed and has since been launching "Sister Sites" everywhere to connect moms, and women in business, in their community, both online and offline.
If you’re entering a competitive marketplace, you’ll need to look and feel different to your competitors — it’s not about style over substance, but rather a matter of caring enough about what you do and the way you do it to find novel ways of expressing that through your branding and customer service.
Take for example, a woman in business, Jam Hops Gymnastics Factory in Ham Lake, who recently won 2020 Dream Big Small Business of the Year. At Jam Hops, athletics is only a small part of the company’s mission to develop the community’s youth into “Life Champions.” The more than 140 employees at Jam Hops take seriously the responsibility of being role models, and teaching life skills and character development daily.
With such a sizeable presence in the community, giving back is woven into Jam Hops’ operations. For example, the company gives 100% of the proceeds from Open Gym passes to local non-profit organizations (and if a child brings in 10 items to donate to a local pantry, they get a free Open Gym pass). From this initiative Jam Hops has donated $20,000 in the past year, $110,000 since starting the program, and has donated thousands of pounds of food and clothing.
"Flagship Bank is built on quality relationships and fantastic customer service and truly care about community. Being a small business owner, having ongoing support and dependable people to help you with your money is incredibly important to me. And they truly support our business - they sponsor our events, and we have formed genuine friendships with their staff. I am so grateful for their team and exceptional service and support." Mollie Windmiller Co-Founder of LAB and Owner & Creative Director for Windmiller Design Group
There are many opportunities and resources available to small businesses especially during these trying times. The SBA just launched Ascent, an interactive digital platform filled with courses and information women in business can use to achieve their business goals. At Flagship Bank, we help small business owners and entrepreneurs just getting started every day. Contact us for information on how you can take the next step in starting your business.