Last week I was asked to be a guest on WHUR’s “The Daily Drum.’ This radio program covers local and national happenings and gives its listeners great insight into current issues and matters of the day.
The show focused on an article on the explosion of minority women entrepreneurs and not only the workers they are able to employ, but also the huge amounts of money their businesses are generating. I was asked several questions:
1.) What should these newly successful entrepreneurs be doing to make sure that their personal finances are in order?
2.) How do you market your business so that potential consumers know you are out there?
3.) How to handle employees?
So let’s get into it:
There is an explosion of women entrepreneurs. After the 2007/2008 recession and housing debacle, many turned side hustles into their main job or just decided to make a go of starting a new business and they are very good at it, to the tune of 52.6 billion dollars in revenue. With all of the money being generated what should a successful businesswoman being doing with her money?
Make sure you have the right team around you. From an accountant to a contracts and trademark attorney, be sure that your house is in order. Be sure that all documents related to your business that need to be filed are filed and please, pay your taxes!
Also, before you buy any sort of congratulatory gift for yourself from a car to a new handbag, make sure that all of your personal finances are handled and that you have reinvested in your business. The best gift you can give yourself is financial peace of mind.
Next, marketing. It is so great to have a business during a time when you can do a lot of the marketing yourself. Starting a business in terms of the tools is so easy now: Your LLC, website, business cards and social media and you are up and running!
But here are a few points: Be sure that everything you put out there is professional. Your website should be professional, free of spelling errors, all buttons should work, your contact info should be accurate and it should not look like you did it yourself. This may have to be your first investment. I know for me, if I go to a website and it looks like a 5 year old did it at home, I totally take a pass on the business. Your website is your storefront, make sure it looks like you are serious about your business.
Social media: You can take a day and set up all social media accounts. A Facebook page, twitter account, Linkedin profile, Google+, Tumblr, etc. Make sure you update as regularly as possible. Years ago you would have had to pay someone to get this type of exposure and now you can do it yourself!
Don’t be afraid to market yourself and yes, take advantage of the humble brag! Let people know what you are doing and what your business is capable of doing! Go to mixers with professional business cards at the ready, put up flyers and banners at events, maybe be a sponsor at an event, it’s great exposure and publicity.
And finally, employees. If you get large enough where you can bring on paid staff, congrats! Your business is growing and successful. But be careful here. You want your employees to be professional and vested in the business just like you are. To that end, I would avoid relatives, kids of relatives looking for a job or anyone that has a “This is just a job or I just need a job” attitude.
And the other side of that is you as the business owner need to be as serious and professional as you want your employee(s) to be.
So to recap: Take care of your finances, get a good team around you and pay your taxes!
Market, market, market and be sure all of your business tools look and feel professional.
Only work with and hire those that will work hard and make sure that you maintain a professional attitude at all times!
Use these tips and your business will be thriving in no time!