By Savana Vig
Recently, changes to the workforce have adversely affected women over men and have created a need for women to find new ways to earn a living. Working for yourself is not only a trend but has increasingly become a sustainable way to earn an income and control your own schedules. Being a business owner is a lot of work, but if you have an idea, a plan“, and the ability to work hard, you can turn it into something lucrative.
Before we start generating ideas for you, let’s talk about building a business. It’s a large, complex topic that can vary from industry to industry. However, I wanted to touch on some basic overarching points that I think are important for everyone to think about.
The first thing you need to do is incorporate your business. Incorporation allows separation of business liability from your own personal finances. Plus, depending on the kind of business and the way you incorporate, you can start building tax benefits.
Build An Online Presence
Everyone has a website, or at minimum a landing page nowadays. I recommend that you grab a domain name and email for your business. This ensures that no one else can take it, and it gives your customers a way to learn about you before they hire you (something everyone wants). Plus, having a professional email can go a long way towards establishing your credibility.
Also, go through each social media app and website and secure your business name at each one. You don’t need to be a social media influencer, but it protects you and gives you a stepping stone towards building your social media portfolio.
Have A Business Plan
Starting a business is hard enough. Growing it can be even tougher. The best thing you can do for yourself and your business is first to write out your plan.
Write out your idea, the need for your idea, who your clients are, how much you would charge for services, and your competition. Do the research and the analysis to answer these questions. It’ll help you prepare and market yourself better.
Find a Mentor
It’s not only hard, but it can also be lonely. This is especially true if you’re a one-woman show. Building a business can and will take up all of your free time, a concept that our family and friends often don’t understand. Having a mentor to turn to, talk to, and vent to can be invaluable. Keep in mind as well that the types of people you surround yourself with can influence your success. So focus on those that are supporting you and showing you understanding and empathy.
Get Used To Marketing Yourself
We are all bad at this, yet how will anyone know you have a business unless you tell them? Talking about what you’re doing (and charging for it) is nothing to be embarrassed or feel weird about. It’s something you must do, and don’t worry about how anyone takes it.
Get used to being your own biggest cheerleader, advocate, and fan. Because if you believe in yourself, and show it, then everyone else will believe too.
Invest In The Tools You Need
To make money, you must first spend money. Understand that and accept it. I’m not saying you need to dump large amounts of cash to get going, but you do need to make investments towards tools and services to help you get off the ground.
One way you can figure out if purchasing or using something is the right thing to do is to do a cost analysis. Compare what you pay upfront to what you potentially can make later. Also, if an investment will help you scale, then the payoff is potentially much higher.
What are some tools? Online programs, for instance, Canva to help with designing logos, product tags, presentations, business cards, social media posts, etc. Other investments may include a dedicated business phone or computer or hiring part-time help to help you finish a job faster or do more than one job at a time.
Business Ideas For Women
Many of these ideas are small, and it’s unlikely you’ll be making a full-time income from the get-go; however, there is potential for growth with each one. What matters is that you get started and consistently stay with it.
1 – Startups
Let’s start big. Maybe you have a great business idea that disrupts an industry, or an idea to make our lives easier, or to improve upon a product that’s already out there.
That’s amazing. But now, what do you do?
The startup world is unique and very cutthroat, especially for women. Women get fewer investments compared to men, and there are very few female-led startup CEOs. HOWEVER, because of this ongoing discrepancy, investors are also consciously trying to diversify and make a point of looking for solid women-led businesses.
So what do you need to do for a startup? A basic checklist is as follows:
- Incorporate your business
- If your idea is patentable, then start working on your provisional patent
- Hire a patent attorney to help with filing and advice on the patent
- Hire legal counsel to help with contracts, documents, and equity division
- Build your pitch deck, basically a very detailed PowerPoint of your business that speaks on your behalf.
- Network anywhere and everywhere you can
- Build your team. You will need one!
Regardless of the industry, this basic checklist is a must for everyone. I encourage you to pursue your idea if you have one. At a minimum, start talking to people and see what they think. Do a patent search to make sure your idea isn’t already taken.
A little secret: ask lawyers for an introductory phone call. They will do that for free, for about 30 minutes, and you can ask them all sorts of questions related to your industry, your idea, and costs. Do this with multiple lawyers, ask all the same questions and see how many answers you get. Then, and only when you’re ready, you can sign a letter of intent to hire one.
Teaching is a prevalent profession amongst women. To work outside of academics, though, you don’t necessarily need a degree in education to teach others. What you need is skill or expertise in a particular subject that can be taught and passed on. Doing so requires either a curriculum or a set of educational goals that you can help students accomplish. I do recommend that for school-level subjects you should at least have that level of education yourself. This is not only to understand the subject matter; it also makes you more marketable.
No matter what you decide to teach, be sure to choose teaching modalities that you can monetize. With the ideas listed below, you could dabble in all or just a few to grow your personal teaching brand faster and make more money.
Different ways you can impart your wisdom?
2 – Tutoring
In-person or online, you can help kids of all ages with their homework, projects, or exams. If you get the word out, you may be able to host tutoring or study groups for more than one student, all of whom pay you by the hour.
3 – Online Classes or Courses
If you have expertise in a subject, field, or niche, then creating an online course is a great way to earn income. There is a bit of work to do upfront to create the curriculum, record the teaching and perhaps have handouts or printables. Once it’s done, however, you can sit back and reap the rewards. Where can you post your course? Try