I’ve been an entrepreneur for more than six years now and I can tell you that I’ve made some pretty common, gut wrenching mistakes along the way. As the mission behind The Girl Inspired Project is to empower women with digital business tools, resources, and education, so they can lead more fulfilling, inspiring businesses, I’ve got you covered.
Think of a business plan as the road map to your business; if you don't have a road map, how do you know what direction you are going? Business plans are integral when it comes to knowing where and to whom you are going to be selling your product or service, how you are going to effectively market your product or service, your financial plan, and more. Even if you have a tiny one person business to start, a business plan is going to give you a healthy outline for growth, structure, and profitability. Don't over complicate it - your business plan can be as simple or as detailed as you need it to be. Need help getting started? The Small Business Administration has a free tool that allows you to write your very own business plan.
Have you already been in business for awhile and don't have a business plan? Don't worry, it's never to late to get started.
Business ownership is very exciting; because we are so fired up about bringing our own product or service to the marketplace, we often take any financial risks necessary to get it there. The problem is, we don't have buyers or clients yet, who we know want to purchase our product or service. Exorbitant business debt is a recipe for failure. As much as possible, try to cash flow your business in the beginning or use pre-selling in order to create some sales to keep the lights on. The less debt / income ratio you have, the healthier and more sustainable your business will be in the long run.
There are three types of fear that hold most people back in their business: fear of judgement, fear of failure, and fear of success. As an entrepreneur, you will experience at least one of these types of fear when it comes to navigating entrepreneurship. Even though fear can be helpful when protecting us and preventing us from making huge mistakes, it can also be a huge inhibitor when taking risks, action, or moving forward. Embrace your fear. As the great George Addair said it best, "For everything you want is on the other side of fear."
Fearful of failing? You can only fail if you quit; keep experimenting. As Dave Ramsey says, "Success is standing on a mountain of failures."
Fearful of success? Many entrepreneurs struggle with imposter syndrome or feeling unworthy of reaching success, so surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who share simliar thoughts/feelings. Rising tides lift all boats.
Fearful of judgement? If you're doing something right, there are going to be critics. Don't let someone with cheap words have an expensive opinion of you or your business; keep going anyway.
One of the most common issues that plague business owners is figuring out how to charge adequately for their product or service.
If you charge too much, your business will alienate potential new customers unless demand for your product / service is very high. If what your selling is readily available many places and there are not enough consumers looking to purchase what you are offering at that price, you may be charging too much.
If you charge too little, your business may not be profitable making it very hard to develop sustainability. In the same thought, charging too little can make your product / service seem low quality resulting in a negative customer opinion of what you're offering.
Do your research. What do comparable products in my industry sell for? What do similar services in my area / industry charge? What is the demand for my product / service right now? Also ask yourself, what is my cost per time? Cost per materials? What do I want my profit margin to be?
All of these tips will help you to develop a price point that you feel comfortable with, but that your consumers feel comfortable with, too.
Entrepreneurship is a slow, steady race. Successful, healthy, and profitable businesses are not built in a day; they are created after years of of building, making strategic moves, pivoting, shifting, growing, and perseverance. Many entrepreneurs give up before they even get started, because the growth wasn't what they expected, they aren't making tons of money overnight, or simply due to the fact that being an entrepreneur is a lot of hard work / long hours / hustle. When in doubt, give yourself permission to take a break, delegate what you can, and get back on the horse. You'll be glad you did.
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