Did you know that October is National Women in Business Month? In celebration of womenpreneurs everywhere, we’ve created two awesome resources:
- First, our Women In Business page, which is dedicated to sharing inspirational stories, resources, advice and more.
- Second, this guide, which covers everything from inspirational quotes to growth tips to funding options.
We’ve broken this guide into five chapters, so you can read it all at once or bookmark it to read it in pieces and pick up where you left off:
Inspiration for womenpreneurs
Growing your woman-owned business
Funding for women business owners
Grants for women business owners
Small business loan tips
Before we dive in, keep in mind a few of the current statistics from the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) that highlight the current demand for business loans for women:
- 6+ million firms are owned by women
- $1.7 trillion in 2017 sales was generated by women-owned businesses
- 51 percent of privately held firms are owned by women
- 4 million firms are owned by women of color
To be considered a successful entrepreneur these days could mean many things, but mostly it requires a degree of ambition and a positive result. As more women gain the strength and courage to just ‘go for it,’ successful women are becoming more prominent in our society. Not only does their success stem from ambition, hard work, and inspiration, it also comes from their ability to fight against adversity, and not take no for an answer. We can all learn from their example.
No matter who you are or what you do, these women are inspiring and can give you the motivation to start working towards your success. So, take a five-minute break and let their words sink in.
1. “As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulder to practice the behavior you want others to follow.” – Himanshu Bhatia Founder and CEO, Rose International Inc.
2. “It is within everyone’s grasp to be a CEO.” – Martha Stewart, Founder, CEO, Martha Steward Living OmniMedia
3. “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” – Indira Gandhi, first Indian Female prime minister, leader of the Indian National Congress
4. “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman, But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.” – Melinda Gates, Cofounder and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
5. “It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” – J.K. Rowling, author
6. “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” – Madeleine Albright, Czech-born American politician and diplomat
7. “If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” – Margaret Fuller, American journalist, critic, and women’s rights advocate
8. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizen can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist, author, speaker
9. “The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn.” – Gloria Steinem, author and activist
10. “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” – Audre Lorde, writer and feminist
11. “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.” – Coco Chanel, fashion designer
12.“ Making the decision to not follow a system, or someone else’s rules has allowed me to really dig into what my own strengths and gifts are without spending time feeling jaded or wasteful.” – Ishita Gupta, Founder, Ishita Gupta Media and Fearless Magazine
13. “Entrepreneurship is the last refuge of the trouble-making individual.” – Natalie Clifford Barney, playwright, poet, and novelists
14. “Women need real moments of solitude and self-reflection to balance out how much of ourselves we give away.” – Barbara De Angelis, author and consultant
15. “Luck is where preparation meets opportunity.” – Robin Chase, Founder, Zip Car
16. “No matter what, expect the unexpected. And whenever possible, BE the unexpected.” – Lynda Barry, author
17. “Don’t just stand for the success of other women- insist on it.” – Gail Blanke, President and CEO, Lifedesigns
18. “There is no scientific answer for success. You can’t define it. You’ve simply got to live it and do it.” – Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop
19. “Success is about creating value.” – Candice Carpenter, iVillage.com
20. “Define success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you’re proud to live.” – Anne Sweeney, President, Walt Disney
21. “We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” – Arianna Huffington, Editor in Chief, Huffington Post
22. “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that’s how you grow. When there’s that moment of ‘Wow, I’m not really sure I can do this,’ and you push through those moments, that’s when you have a breakthrough.” – Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo
23. “When you’re an entrepreneur you have to go in feeling like you’re going to be successful.” – Lillian Vernon, Founder, Lillian Vernon Corporation
24. “What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best – which I believed then and believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me.” – Debbi Fields, Founder, Mrs. Fields Bakeries
25. “I became successful due to several reasons. I never gave up and I never let anyone or anything get in my way. I use the power of positive thinking to tackle obstacles and challenges, so they don’t defeat me.” – Lillian Vernon, Founder, Lillian Vernon Corporation
26. “You are more powerful than you know; you are beautiful just as you are.” – Melissa Etheridge, singer
27. “I think the key is for women not to set any limits.” – Martina Navratilova, tennis player and coach
28. “So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” – Caterina Fake, Cofounder, Flickr
29. “I’ve learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not on our circumstances.” – Martha Washington, First Lady of the United States
30. “There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.” – Madam C.J. Walker, first female self-made millionaire
31. “The thing women have yet to learn is nobody gives you power. You just take it.” – Roseanne Barr, actor
32. “If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps, but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.” – Candice Carpenter
33. “My best successes came on the heels of failures.” – Barbara Corcoran, American Entrepreneur and ‘Shark’ on ABC’s Shark Tank
34. “Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe, author
35. “Women shouldn’t be afraid to put themselves forward.” – Sarah Wood, Cofounder & COO, Unruly Media
36. “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, remember, you can achieve.” – Mary Kay Ash, Founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics
37. “I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” – Maya Angelou, author and poet
38. “We cannot change what we are not aware of, and once we are aware, we cannot help but change.” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
39. “Don’t be intimidated by what you don’t know. That can be your greatest strength and ensure that you do things differently from everyone else.” – Sarah Blakely, Founder, Spanx
40. “How many cares one loses when one decides to not be something, but to be someone.” – Coco Chanel, Founder, Chanel
41. “Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” – Ella Fitzgerald, jazz vocalist
42. “I really love what I do. It’s extremely motivating to me.” – Jenny Craig, Founder, Jenny Craig
43. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” – Mary Anne Radmacher, author, artist
44. “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt, former First Lady of the United States
45. “Whatever you do, be different – that was the advice my mother gave me, and I can’t think of better advice for an entrepreneur. If you’re different, you will stand out.” – Anita Roddick
46. “Don’t compromise yourself. You are all you’ve got.” – Janis Joplin, American rock singer
47. “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself. ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
48. “The glass ceiling that once limited a woman’s career path has paved a new road towards business ownership, where women can utilize their sharp business acumen while building strong family ties.” – Erica Nicole, Founder and CEO of YFS Magazine
49. “Don’t let others define you. Define yourself.” – Ginni Rometty, Chairman and CEO, IBM
50. “Never be ashamed! There’s some who will hold it against you, but they are not worth bothering with.” – J.K. Rowling, author
Podcasts to follow
Podcasts are a great way for women entrepreneurs to learn about different strategies for their businesses. Additionally, sometimes the best way to learn how to grow a business is to hear how others have been able to grow theirs.
Podcasting gives listeners a wealth of helpful information, which is one of the reasons why it’s become so popular among listeners and the marketers trying to reach them.
To give you an idea about just how popular podcasts really are, according to Edison Research, 180 million Americans listened to online audio within the last month of the study (February 2018).
The good news about the popularity of podcasting is that it also paves the way for better content. In particular, there are some fantastic business podcasts that can help women entrepreneurs move forward in their businesses.
This Girl Means Business with Carrie Green
Carrie Green is the founder of the Female Entrepreneur Association, an international organization dedicated to educating women entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses and make more money.
Her podcast, This Girl Means Business, is a short weekly podcast (it’s never more than 10 minutes) where she motivates listeners to take the next big action in their business.
Although there haven’t been recent episodes, the previous ones still provide great information for women business owners. So, if you’re pressed for time or aren’t into podcasts that interview people, this is a good one to get into.
So Money with Farnoosh Torabi
Farnoosh Torabi is an award-winning financial journalist. She’s also a fierce businesswoman who has made it her life’s mission to help women earn more money. In 2014 she published When She Makes More, a book that details how women breadwinners can better manage their money with their partners.
Torabi launched her podcast, So Money, in January 2015 and it has since surpassed 1 million downloads. The podcast discusses the strategies and philosophies of some of the world’s most influential business minds, including Tony Robbins, Tim Gunn, Jillian Michaels, Margaret Cho and many more. Torabi also goes deep with her guests, even asking about how their childhoods may have affected their financial behaviors.
Additionally, since she is so keen on women earning more, she does pay special attention to issues that concern women in both business and personal finance.
Glambition Radio with Ali Brown
Ali Brown has long been regarded in the national media as the top women’s entrepreneurial mentor. Given Brown’s recognition, it should be of no surprise that her podcast, Glambition Radio, took the #1 spot on iTunes for women entrepreneurs shortly after debuting.
Every two weeks Ali Brown interviews other highly successful women entrepreneurs including Kim Kiyasaki of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame, former Cosmopolitan editor Kim White and Drybar founder Ali Webb.
This is just a small sampling of guests Brown interviews on her podcast. With more than 100 episodes already published, women entrepreneurs will listen to several takeaways that will help them take their businesses to the next level.
Like a Mother with Emma Johnson
Emma Johnson, founder of the very popular blog WealthySingleMommy.com, recently launched the Like a Mother podcast where she discusses the issues that are top-of-mind to smart moms.
Johnson is a veteran financial writer for top publications like the Associated Press and MSN Money, a business owner and a single mom of two living in New York. Given Johnson’s professional background, it should be of no surprise that much of what she discusses on her podcast has to do with business and money.
What’s particularly interesting about this podcast is Johnson approaches the subject of motherhood and money from a more holistic perspective. Mothers have a lot going on in their lives and Johnson unabashedly explores the many facets of being a professional woman in the modern world.
However, even if you’re not a mother there’s still a lot you can learn from Johnson’s podcast about women and money.
Lady Business Radio with Jessica Kupferman
Lady Business Radio was created by Jessica Kupferman out of her frustration with hearing the same business advice on every webinar, podcast and video. She also noticed a need for a podcast to specifically talk about the issues and interests of women entrepreneurs.
Kupferman interviews (mostly) female entrepreneurs about their likes, dislikes, challenges, aha moments and being a woman business owner. The podcast also covers important business topics like copywriting, money, marketing, the role of kindness in business, health and more.
Although there haven’t been new episodes since 2015, previous episodes still cover a variety of topics important for any business owner, and interviews with female entrepreneurs provide great insight.
Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield
Amy Porterfield is a powerhouse marketer who offers a wealth of information on her podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy with Amy Porterfield.
While her podcast may not be specifically geared toward women, she can give a unique perspective on all things business. This podcast is a great one to listen to if you’re looking into implementing a killer social media strategy.
However, it should be noted that Porterfield also covers sales, launches, goal setting and more.
The Suitcase Entrepreneur with Natalie Sisson
Like Amy Porterfield, Natalie Sisson is a highly regarded online entrepreneur. Her focus? To teach people how to create a business they can run from anywhere in the world.
Sisson has been running a business while traveling the world since 2006, and she uses her podcast to teach other entrepreneurs how to do that. While it’s not necessarily marketed toward women, it is a great podcast to listen to if you dream of location independence.
This list of podcasts for women entrepreneurs is by no means exhaustive. There are a lot of other great podcasts out there that can truly benefit entrepreneurial women. However, these podcasts are an excellent place to start.
Earn what you deserve
Despite the battles women have fought over the decades to earn equal pay as employees, there’s still often a disparity in what female entrepreneurs charge from their male counterparts. Whatever the reason for this lopsided equation, it’s time to turn the tables on this situation and start earning more money. Here’s how you can earn your worth and boost your business as a result.
- Check out the competition.
You can’t charge what you are worth until you know what others are charging. Poke around and see what your competitors are pricing their goods at. Consider whether your own products are similar in quality or go beyond what others offer. In that case, you’ll want to charge more than they do.
- Consider the value of your time.
If you consult or offer services, there’s no easy formula to calculate profit margin the way there is with products. So, you’ve got to determine what an hour of your time is worth. If you charge hourly, just quote potential clients this rate. If you charge by the project, then assess how long a given project typically takes you to find your flat rate. Again, see what others charge and use this data in your decision-making.
- Bid high with the expectation of negotiation.
Not every client will negotiate, but you’ll always have those that will. And you don’t want to start lowering your prices when they’re already low. That’s where that slightly-uncomfortable number comes in handy. If someone’s prepared to pay that rate outright, bonus. Otherwise, you have a little wiggle room for negotiating without cutting your prices lower than you can afford to.
Also, if sales and promotions are part of your marketing strategy, it’s easy to discount your new higher prices than to slash what’s probably already too low.
- Be confident.
If you waver when you quote a price, your potential clients will smell blood in the water. Practice in the mirror if it helps. But you should look your client in the eye if you’re face-to-face, and boldly announce the price. You’ve got this. Be brazen and ask for what you deserve. You just might get it.
- Ward off the wrong clients.
When you try to be the lowest price in town, you make a lot of work for yourself, but not much profit. In all honesty, do you really want the kind of client who bargain-basement-shops for your kind of services? Probably not.
As you raise your rates appropriately, you may lose clientele. Don’t let that scare you off; you don’t want to work with people who won’t pay the appropriate price for quality work. But you will start to attract better clients who are willing to pay more for what you do. You’ll have fewer clients, less work and more money. A winning formula.
- Handling existing clients.
You can implement your new higher prices with the next potential client that comes your way. But what about existing clients? Is it fair to suddenly charge them more? You’ll have to find your own answer.
For current clients, perhaps grandfather them into your old prices, but raise rates slightly for new services. Or, if you have a good, solid relationship with clients, let them know you’re raising your rates, offering them a decent price, even though it’s a little higher than what they’d been paying.
However, if you think a great client will balk at paying more, don’t raise prices if their business is something you value.
Help one another
As women-owned businesses continue to look for ways to grow their businesses, here are six ways women entrepreneurs can help each other:
- Collaborative efforts
A great way to support each other is to collaborate and create strategic partnerships. Developing mutually beneficial partnerships will open up doors of opportunity and provide new revenue streams. Getting to know other women entrepreneurs will give you the opportunity to share your business goals. You may uncover that your perfect client has been in a fellow business owner’s database all along.
Women have the tools to empower one another. Just look at Flock, the collaborative effort of seven London-based women business owners who used an all-girls trip to New York as a way to collaborate, create events, and conduct marketing sessions that promoted their companies.
Be a role model. Women can help each other develop and grow their companies through mentorship. If you are someone who likes to help and inspire others, then become a mentor. A good mentor is someone who shares their experiences while encouraging others to find new opportunities.
In women-owned businesses, role models are very important for support and growth. Most women struggle to find a balance in their personal and professional lives. A great mentorship relationship is one that develops over time. When you take the time to mentor a fellow entrepreneur, you will find that it can be very rewarding.
- Share tech knowledge
Technology has reinvented how business is conducted. If you know of an app, website, or program that has helped your business become more efficient, share it.
- Help overcome the funding gap
A key reason why women-owned businesses are being held back is because they remain underfunded. Without proper capital, women-owned businesses will not be able to start, grow, and exist. Be an advocate for creating an equal competitive field for women business owners by using your expertise and influence to help other business owners. Share your experience about the funding process and let other women know about workshops or training sessions that can help.
- Network and nurture business relationships
Women are natural nurturers. As women, we can use this to our advantage by developing and nurturing business relationships. Networking and relationship building has to be part of your marketing plan. A great way women can help each other and develop relationships is through organizations for women business owners:
- NAWBO, with over 10 million members and 70 chapters across the country. Find a chapter in your area to learn about all aspects of business ownership.
- Check with your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they host a women’s networking group. If they don’t, then start one.
- Use LinkedIn to reach and connect with other women entrepreneurs.
- Develop awesome relationships with other business owners by attending local events in your area.
- Share your story
Whether you started your business because you wanted to leave corporate America, or you wanted to change the world, everyone has a story. Share the reasons why you became an entrepreneur. Check out the Female Entrepreneur Association’s “How She Did It”, where you can read stories about female entrepreneurs from around the world and become inspired to succeed. In your quest to help others, you can also share your story there as well.
Are you a female entrepreneur who is looking specifically for business loans for women? If so, you’re in good company. There has never been more women starting businesses, and loans are often fueling their success.
Not surprisingly, many female business owners are well aware of the challenges of obtaining financing and are choosing to rely less on outside capital than men. Because of the difficulties of obtaining business loans for women, female-operated businesses often have less working capital and tighter budgets to purchase the things they need to fuel their success.
Women are also more likely to seek out non-traditional forms of lending such as peer-to-peer financing, government or non-profit assistance or alternative small business loan for women providers such as online lenders.
Business Loans for Women: Where to Start
If you’re considering applying for business loans for women, a good place to start is the Office of Women’s Business Ownership with the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). They oversee a network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) across the United States and provide training and counseling for women, particularly those who are economically or socially disadvantage. They also provide assistance in applying for SBA backed loans.
While the SBA doesn’t offer any specific loan programs for women, it’s one of the largest loan guarantors in the United States. This gives women-owned businesses the opportunity to apply with certified commercial lenders for loans backed by the government. And, many of these certified lenders do have special programs designed to help women-owned businesses.
SBA LOANS FOR WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS
The SBA’s Microloan Program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and some non-profit childcare centers. The average SBA microloan is $13,000, and intermediary lenders have their own lending and credit requirements.
- General Small Business Loans
The SBA offers the 7(a) Loan Program to help businesses in the acquisition, operations, or expansion of an existing business. These are typically larger loans than those issued through the Microloan Program. The average 7(a) loan in 2012 was $337,730, and the maximum loan amount is $5 million.
- 8(a) Business Development Program
The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program is not a loan program, but rather a resource for minority and women-owned businesses to grow through one-to-one counseling, training workshops, and management & technical guidance. This program is also beneficial to women and minorities because it provides access to a variety of government contracting opportunities to enable them to compete in the federal marketplace.
Women business owners who are interested in any loan program or the 8(a) program should contact their local SBA district office. As well, the SBA’s website offers a wealth of resources for women business owners through their online learning center. There are online training courses, informational videos, chat sessions and many tools that can help assist you in growing your business.
ADDITIONAL FUNDING RESOURCES FOR WOMEN BUSINESS OWNERS
- Traditional lending
Every business owner can try for traditional bank lending, and this includes female entrepreneurs. However, when you look at small business lending by the numbers, you’ll find that it’s much more difficult for small business owners to obtain traditional loans. In fact, businesses are less likely to get a business loan if they need less than $250,000, they have been in business for fewer than two years, and they have a credit score of less than 640.
In addition, female small business owners face their own unique challenges. Between mid-2015 and mid-2015, only 47 percent of women entrepreneurs were approved for a traditional loan (compared to 61 percent of male entrepreneurs). The potential discrimination that many women face may also unfairly cause lenders to misjudge perceived risk for female business owners.
- Peer-to-peer loans
Individual investors join forces to lend money to small business owners through online platforms such as those offered by sites like Prosper.com and Lending Club. Approval and funding times vary for peer-to-peer loans depending on how long it takes to get investors for your business.
- Asset-based lending
This form of financing is also referred to as factoring is based on a business selling invoices, receivables, purchase orders, or contracts. Asset-based lending is most commonly used by business-to-business companies that have cash flow issues. The cost can be high for asset-based lending with annual interest rates typically ranging from 7 to 17 percent.
- Alternative business loans
Small businesses that don’t meet traditional bank requirements can still obtain funds through non-bank entities that specialize in offering ready cash for working capital. When women are unable to obtain funding through traditional lenders or need to fill gaps in funding from other sources, alternative lending is often the best option.
A small business line of credit or business loan from an alternative lender can be used by women business owners to fund start-up and growth costs such as investing in equipment, hiring more employees and developing marketing resources. The flexible funding options make it easy for women business owners to get and manage their business funds online.
- Loans from friends and family
Of course, many female entrepreneurs simply turn to their loved ones for acquiring the cash they need to start a business or to enable it to grow. This is, in fact, one of the most common sources of financing for small business owners. And, there are definite perks to going this route including typically lower interest rates, more flexible payment terms, and no approval process. However, there are often strings attached to loans given by those you care about. To minimize any chance of problems down the road, it’s always a good idea to write and sign a detailed loan agreement with the terms clearly spelled out.
- Venture capital
Venture capital is another useful alternative funding source for female entrepreneurs. This option allows women to trade equity for financing. One major downside to venture capital is that many venture capital funds are still dominated by men who are often less willing to invest in female entrepreneurs.
Female venture capitalists are more likely to invest in women-owned businesses. However, in 2017, female founders only got 2 percent of venture capital dollars (while male founders received 79 percent). The good news is that the number of female venture capitalists and angel investors is growing, and as this number continues to increase so will opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
Keep a Close Eye Out for Scams
Unfortunately, not everyone in the loan business is honest, and there are certainly predatory lenders out there that would love to make a quick buck off an unsuspecting business owner looking for business loans for women. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. Do ask questions, and make sure you get answers. A few resources for helping you determine if a loan provider is legitimate or if it’s one you should stay clear of:
- The Federal Trade Commission is the complaint department for the federal government. You can file a complaint if you’ve been taken by a loan scam or if you suspect a scam. And, you can get some very helpful tips on their website for how to spot a scam.
- The National Fraud Information Center is a division of the National Consumers League. It provides a daily Internet Fraud Report that gives up-to-the-minute information about online scams including those that involve financing for businesses.
- ScamBusters is a site that closely monitors scams worldwide.
Without a doubt, it can be tremendously exciting and even a little scary to launch a new business. Full of hope and promise for the future, it makes good common sense to carefully weigh your options before deciding upon a business loan for women or any other type of financing. With the right type of funding and a good game plan for how the cash will be utilized, you can position yourself for entrepreneurial success.
If you’re seeking funding, look for women-centric grants and loan programs before you start knocking on investors’ doors. These are open to women only, so right away you reduce the pool of people you’re competing against for funds.
- WomensNet Amber Grant
Each month, WomensNet awards a female entrepreneur a grant of $1,000, and at the end of the year, one of the 12 winners will be awarded an additional $10,000 grant through the Amber Grant. There are no stringent guidelines, other than that applicants be female and need the money to put toward developing their business idea. There is a $15 application fee, and applications are accepted each month.
- State-Specific Programs
It’s worth a little investigation to find out if your state offers any financial assistance for women-owned businesses. New York State, for example, offers a Minority and Women-Owned Business Investment Fund, a $2 million equity investment fund that supports innovation, job creation and high-growth entrepreneurship in the state.
- 37 Angels
Angel investors are a tough nut to crack for any business owner, and women are definitely in the minority when it comes to being recipients of these funds. 37 Angels aims to turn the tables on these statistics. Made up of more than 50 female angel investors, the investment company has a streamlined process for applicants and lets them know whether they are eligible for funding within four weeks. Those that do get funding can expect between $50 and $150,000.
- National Women Business Owners Corporation
If you’re interested in becoming certified as a woman-owned business, consider doing so through the National Women Business Owners Corporation. As a woman-owned business, you will get access to government contracting opportunities and get your business in front of more potential customers.
- S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
If you’re itching to make a difference in the landscape and politics of women-driven businesses, consider joining the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce. You’ll meet other advocates for female entrepreneurship, have a say in policies and legislation and build your network.
- Find out your options.
Take the time to research all of your loan options. Compare interest rates, application requirements, processing time and loan terms. Not all loans are created equal, so it can really pay to find the right one.
- Start building business credit.
Even if your personal credit scores are good, it can be very challenging to obtain business loans for women. Establishing good credit for your business before you apply for a loan is a smart idea. This can be done by paying vendors on time and applying for a business credit card and making payments on time.
- Look better on paper.
Many small business owners, both male and female, make the error of not depositing cash into their business bank accounts before paying themselves or their vendors. This can be a big mistake. Making those deposits is your proof of cash flow if you want to obtain a business loan. Also paying vendors on time and filing taxes before the deadline can help too.
- Focus on your business plan.
A business plan isn’t just busy work required by the bank or the SBA – and it shouldn’t be tucked into a drawer once you’re done writing it. It should stick with you as a dynamic blueprint for the future growth of your business. By keeping current with your financial projections, marketing strategies and development efforts, you will always have the back up to show potential lenders and investors what you’re doing now and where you’re headed in the future.
Starting and running a business is difficult, even when you’ve got help. But having the right financial, leadership and small business advice resources can make the difference between you treading water and actually propelling your business forward.