If you haven’t heard, Black women have exploded on the entrepreneurial scene and more and more of us are looking to go independent and start our own business.
After the 2007/2008 recession and housing debacle, many of us have turned side hustles into our main sources of income, 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?
First, 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. Also be sure that all documents related to your business that need to be filed are filed and please, pay your taxes!
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Next up, focus on your 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 easier than ever. Get your LLC together through a site like LegalZoom, make website, business cards and social media and you are up and running.
But with it being so easy, there is of course a drawback. Be sure that everything you put out there is professional. Your website should be free of spelling errors, all buttons should work, your contact info should be accurate and it should not look like you did it yourself. Your website is your storefront; make sure it looks like you are serious about your business.
And what about staying power in business? As more of us build up our own entrepreneurial endeavors, how do we deal with the competition?
To tackle this, I spoke with Tony Hudgins, a former lawyer who left the practice of law to start a restaurant and hospitality company. With his partners, he has successfully built well-known establishments in Washington, DC such as The Gryphon and Policy. Three things that he said really resonated with me: 1.) Each time he and his partners opened a place, it filled a need or a hole in the market in DC. 2.) Everything he learned about being a business owner was by trial, error and hard work and 3.) You can typically come back from anything if you pivot correctly.
What does this mean to you? Make sure your business or idea fulfills a need or provides a necessary service, understand that you won’t know everything going in and when you hit bumps (and you will), you can come back from them.
As you grow, I want to caution you about one more thing. If you get large enough where you can bring on paid staff, congratulations, that’s huge. 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 an I just need a job attitude.
Use these tips and your business will be thriving in no time!
Jennifer Streaks is a stylish moneypro and lifestyle expert and is a contributor for HelloBeautiful.com. She tweets @JStreaks and her website is JenniferStreaks.com.
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