Advice for Women Entrepreneurs (and Wannabes)
I have an instructor at the University of Toronto who is a personal friend of Caryl Baker, she of the Visage empire. She recently sold Visage for about 100 million dollars. I found out about this from my instructor, who is a judge for the Ontario Provincial Judge, a wonderfully righteous male Judge Judy and my professor at the university. How the two met I don’t know. I didn’t get the chance to ask but talk about a woman entrepreneur success story. You might be considering your own business for a lot of reasons. Two of the best reasons I can think of include:
If you’ve been let go because your company feels you’re “too old” to be productive anymore, all is not lost. Especially if you have that entrepreneurial spirit. The recession implies you’ve been laid off and are unable to find another job. No time like the present to generate your own.
There are however a lot of considerations to keep in mind before actually starting a business, including in one day (see my blog Start Your Own Business in One Day). Here’s a great link to an organization called SBA.gov The site offers information on everything from finding a mentor to self-assessment in terms of whether you are business ownership material. I recommend you take a look at it before you make any drastic moves, especially if you have a good job but are tempted to quit and go into business for yourself because it seems exciting (or any other completely uninformed reasons). Consider:
- You think the current economy is unstable? Your business will be even shakier when you strike out on your own.
- Are you prepared to spend the time, money and resources needed to get your business started?
- Can you secure a loan?
- Do you know how to market and price your services/products?
- Do you look forward to long, lonely hours at work when your employees have left for the night?
- Can you afford to hire employees?
There is a lot more you need to ask yourself before you attempt to set up a business. You’ll find that under 20 Questions Before Starting A Business. A less detailed but still helpful page, Is Entrepreneurship for You? profiles a successful entrepreneur for your comparison.
There are organizations out there that cater specifically to Women Entrepreneurs. One such agency is Women’s Business Centres. There are lots of others so get online and get searching. And I do advise you to read my blog Virtual Network Roulette. VNR is a great virtual way to hook up with women entrepreneurs for leads, advice, what have you (best of all you never have to leave home to do your networking). Have a peek at Entrepreneur Women. Here are a few more: Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth Threatens Canadian Women’s Groups
Have you finally decided you are entrepreneur material?
Happy trail blazing!
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