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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Small Business: Step-by-Step Startup Guide for Women In Business

"As of 2016 it is estimated that there are now 11.3 Million (11,313,900) women owned businesses in United States, employing 9 Million (8,976,100) and generating over $1.6 Trillion ($1,622,763,800,000) in revenue"...learn more...

If you're sitting at your desk dreaming of starting your own business, this post is for you. I'm sure you heard hundreds of reasons not go into's a lot of work, to risky, you might go into debt, it wouldn't work, you're crazy, good luck with that, and the list goes on. You already know that starting your business is a ton of hard work, but the question of the day is, why are you lingering, maybe you not happy with your current situation and you always wanted to open your own store or consulting firm, or just a change in life.

There are many reasons why most people start their business or a side gig. For many its job security, networking, doing good for others, skills, financial independence. 

Maria, says "Before starting my blog, my job was in the finance field which allowed to little opportunity to express my creativity. I quickly had to learn only the technical aspects of creating a blog and also how to market and monetize my content. That along with balancing my time between creating content and caring for a newborn baby is at time challenging. A good family support has helped a lot in this aspect." Learn more...

Amanda, "When being an entrepreneur we all have our obstacles and challenges. However, it's how we overcome them that is important. Even though I've faced challenges in growing my business, customers, communication, training and more, it's has been a growing process. Learning from our mistakes and failures and implementing new strategies is crucial." Learn more...

Carol, "Since, I was ten years old I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, it just took me a while to get there. I was told by many (not family) that I would never be able to play tennis professionally because I started too old at age (11 years old) and then when I went to work on Wall Street, being a woman I was told I would never move up the ranks. I turned those no's into yes's and it motivated me to prove them wrong." Read more... 

If you are considering starting your own business, it's never been a more exciting times to start and run your own business. Congratulations! You have taken the first step, give yourself credit you deserve.

People are always looking for guidance that they can use to start their own business. Here are our 8 recommended steps to starting your own business. The key, regardless of what type of business you are starting, is to be flexible.

1. Personal Evaluation

"Today's a great day to behave as the person you've always wanted to be." -Robin Sharma

Start by reviewing the reasons about yourself and your situation. Passion alone isn't enough for starting a business. Consider these evaluation questions: 

  1. Why do you want to start a business? Is it for money, freedom, helping people or other reasons. 
  2. Your skill set: What skills do you have? Are you great at Marketing, Social Media, Facebook marketing etc.
  3. What services or products can you provide? Are you in direct marketing, affiliate marketing, social media manager etc.
  4. What do you love to do? 
  5. Would you be part-time or full-time business owner? 
  6. Your strengths and weaknesses or will you have family support? 
You could be fantastic at what you do, but if you are obsessed with making money, you will deliver mediocre work and have no true satisfaction. Your goal is helping your clients/customers solve a problem and to make their lives better. Be determine to provide superior product or services.

2. Research Your Industry

Now that you decided on a business that fits your plans and goals. Determine your audience, who will buy your product or services? Who are your competitors? Just as you evaluate your personal goals, the same applies to researching your industry and there are many ways to research. You can begin with Google Search, talking with people, reviewing people in the industry, articles, webinars, connect with organizations like Score (Free Business Advice) or Small Business Administration (SBA) for help.

3. Determine Your Legal Structure

Types of business structure: Sole proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC). Registering your business is the first step towards being legal. Learn the advantage and disadvantages of the different business structure. Depending on your location there will be city, county or state rules to deal with and consider an attorney to iron out the complicated details when deciding on your business name and structure. **Do research the availability for that name.**

4. Planning Process

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."

Having a business plan is a road map to your destination, its something to help guide your progress and the things you need to do in order to achieve your goals. If you are seeking finance having a business plan to present to investors, banks, or potential partners is a great option to use to define your strategy, goals, sales forecast, promotions to achieve your goals. For my company I used a seven (7) parts process which included:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview
  • Marketing Analysis Summary
  • Strategy & Implementation
  • Sales Strategy
  • Management Summary
  • Conclusion
If you require detailed information on how to write a business plan, there are tons of information that you can research to help you choose the right business plan to present to others or as your own guide.

5. Finance-Shoestring Budget & Free Resources

While it maybe great to seek out investment from the start. It's helpful to do as much as you can with what money you have. You can consider investments after you have proven your concept or business absolutely works and you have been through every penny in your bank account. There are tons of free resources online that you can utilize to help you grow your business, you will need to invest a lot of your 'time' though.

6. Get Social

Social Media Marketing is not quick and easy, nor is it just a few blog post, few update here and there, followers and likes and your business instantly grow overnight. It takes time, real planning and dedication to get the word out, but there are tools that can help you speed up the process with content. Build your platforms early, don't wait for launch date to create your social media platforms.

Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, they are all free platforms for any business to use to engage your audience. There are also sites that can help with great content. I recommend two sites that I use for curated content to share on our social sites, for example, Alltop or Flipboard. There are dozens of great curated content sites you can choose from, you just have to do your own research.

Website & Blogs

Have a mobile-optimized website or blog, this should be your top priority for engaging mobile customers.  Website designed for Desktop or Laptop PCs (90% of websites) do not work well when viewed on Smartphones. Mobile users constantly have to pinch and zoom in order to read a site content, this makes for a frustrating unpleasant experience for the mobile user. Have a font size that makes your content easy to read, and consider mobile ready website or blog to give your customers a great experience. We will be happy to assist you with your website.

7. Helpful Tools

Have you heard about QuickBook Accounting Software for New Businesses? It's Ideal for Social Media Managers, Consultants, Contractors...this software helps you keep track of mileage and expenses, store receipts digitally...right for Small business owner like myself without employees. Accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover...Works on iphone, ipads and Android devices. Keep you organized come tax time. Pay employees when you're ready to hire and helps you stay in compliant with Federal, State and Local Taxes...Just as how you may need an attorney to iron out the complicated details, every small business owner should have this service...learn more

Mobile Apps

NCB Group Mobile Apps. Our Mobile App an all-in-one marketing tool is design for small businesses who would like to bring in new customers and increase repeat business. Having a mobile app is an easy to use platform for connecting and sharing current information with customers, and its a direct communication platform. It can create a two-way communication with potential customers, prospects and clients. It encourages interaction. A great marketing tool to offer more insights into your company, employees, goals and ideas.

"Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build your brand."

Business Directory

We are in the early stages of rolling out our new mobile app "Shop Small Business" for Small Business Week April 30th-May 6th and we are currently integrating Small Businesses into our Mobile App Directory, we believe that the app contains features that are a tremendous value to your customers. To learn more about our Mobile App Marketing Strategy and how this could potentially grow your business. Contact Us

Take advantage of our Free Offer to be featured on our all our social sites. To Register go to the right side our blog and submit your information and we will forward to you all the required information. 

8. Trial & Errors (Expect to Make Mistakes)

"A second chance doesn't mean anything if you haven't learned from your first mistakes."

Whether you just started your first business or your fourth, expect to make mistakes, learn from them and move on. Be open minded to change, be creative and adapt, look for other ways to improve, you get to choose what you want to do and what direction you want to grow in and have fun along the way.

Avoid using online advertising to early. Start with free sites...Craigslist or Back Page. Setup social media accounts, create flyers and network to grow your brand. If, then you feel to venture into online advertising do your homework or hire a professional to help you. Have Business cards and marketing materials, like brochures.

Avoid starting too many social media accounts. Pick two or three sites, once setup, post regularly, use social management sites like Hootsuite, Post Planner to help you schedule post ahead of time.

Networking. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce or use online site to connect with people in your local area. Use to meet other people, share similar experiences or stories, and at some point in time you will meet someone who will need your services.

You have taken the most important step, taking control of your own destiny, the journey isn't a smooth one, its filled with bumps, twist and turns, roadblocks and unexpected detours.  "Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end." Congratulations!

Ok, so maybe you did all the steps mentioned, and that's great, so what now? Well, there are business planning or strategy, selling, interacting with clients, admin work, (payroll, balancing your books, billing) Oh my goodness what have I done... there is still... Social Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Using social sites that suits your business,(Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, Instagram), Email Marketing, Blogging, Branding, Customer Service, Mobile Apps and more. Finding a balance with work, life and business. Feel like pulling your hair out yet? Like I said, it's a ton of work. How can I help You!

Stay tune...Follow my blog. Don't forget to connect with me. 

Looking forward to working with you. Have a question, contact me.

You may also like:

Starting Your Own Business? 10 Things You Should Know.
Why Branding Matters
Time Management is Tough-How to Manage Your Time Better

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Blog: The NCB Group

To Your Success,