There are more than 11.6 million firms owned by women in the United States and those numbers are growing every day. Today, women-owned businesses make up 39% of all businesses that are privately owned in this country. Are you ready to join their ranks?
If you have been considering opening your own business or purchasing an existing one, you may be curious about what kind of financing options are available to you. You may also want to know what support and resources are out there. Read on to learn more.
1. Consider Women-Only Small-Business Grants and Loans
There are lots of different grants and loans available to women exclusively. One of the best places to start is by searching for federal grant programs. Create an identification number for your business on Grants.gov to view the grants for which you may be eligible.
If you are purchasing a business that works in design, music, fashion, or the arts, you can also apply for the Girlboss Foundation grant created by entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso. Each recipient gets $15,000 to help with their business operations and expenses.
Local and state governments also provide small-business grants to qualifying individuals. Many of these programs are available in Miami-Dade County. Check out the county’s website for more information.
Although it would be illegal for a loan provider to only offer loans to women-owned businesses, there are many companies that pledge to support women entrepreneurs.
The Small Business Administration is a government organization that can guarantee your loan so that potential investors and lenders will find it less risky. These types of loans come with the lowest interest rates available and often you can secure long-term financing for your business of seven years or more.
2. Register for the Women-Owned Small Business Federal Program
If your business is going to be applying for federal contract projects, then you will want to apply for the Women-Owned Small Business federal contract program. You can find out more about that certification here.
As part of that program, the United States Small Business Administration approves third-party certifiers like Women’s Business Enterprise National Council to advocate for business owners. Organizations like WBENC promote diversity and can help you open doors for new partnerships for your business.
3. Believe in Your Goals and Look to Role Models
Many people purchasing businesses can easily get caught up in the process and forget what their goals were in the first place. Don’t let yourself become overwhelmed.
You have to believe in your vision before anyone else will and find a team that will support you.
If you’re having a moment of doubt, look to famous women entrepreneurs for strength. Beyond the most well-known women entrepreneur of all time, Oprah Winfrey, there are many other women making waves.
Arianna Huffington, the founder of The Huffington Post is an accomplished author in addition to starting that famous website. She’s happy to share the keys to her success in her book, Thrive: The Third Metric to Success.
Another inspirational woman is Debbie Fields. She’s the Mrs. Fields behind Mrs. Fields Bakeries, the largest retailer of fresh cookies in the United States. Today, her cookies are found in 11 countries and she runs 650 bakeries with a net worth of $65 million. Do you think she knew how many people her cookies would reach when she started her business?
Don’t be afraid to take the steps to reach your goals. You never know how far you will go.
4. Rebrand Your Company Image to Cater to Other Women
Women account for the majority of purchases made in the United States. Globally, they spend more than $20 trillion a year. If you haven’t already made catering to other women a major part of your business strategy, then you should consider rebranding your image.
But, be careful. Don’t make the same mistake Dell did when they marketed laptops specifically to women and just agreed to create pink products. Instead, reach out to your female customers with candor.
Help them understand how your company can help improve their situations in education and finance. You can show them how to purchase items for their homes that will maximize their enjoyment of the space. And, you can let career women know that your company offers goods and services that will make their lives easier.
To appeal to many women, you should pay close attention to your social media feeds. Make sure you are following groups that your target market is a part of so that you can find out more about the issues in which they have an interest and position yourself to make a difference.
5. Work with a Broker That Makes You a Priority
Too many people looking to purchase a business don’t have a team they can trust behind them. When you’re going through one of the largest financial decisions in your life, do your due diligence.
Talk to previous clients of everyone you are working with and ask around about them to other members of your community. Make sure you choose to work with people who will accept your phone calls and make you a top priority.
Where to Go for Help
If you’re considering purchasing a business as a female, let us be the first to congratulate you. At Dolan Sales Inc. we are committed to helping women achieve their business goals.
We would be proud to represent you in the acquisition phase of becoming a business owner. Contact us today to get started.