Guess what, budding female business owners? November 19th is the global Women’s Entrepreneurship Day event, a time to celebrate the millions of women who are starting or running businesses all over the world. According to a report from the recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, entrepreneurial activity by women has picked up in recent years, growing by 7% across the board. Companies helmed by women tend to make more positive, long-lasting impacts in their communities, by adding local jobs and advocating for more gender equality in the business and finance sectors. In the future, empowering more women in the workplace will be crucial to preserve economic growth and stability going forward.
Top 12 Finance Tips for Women in Business
In an effort to help you build your business, we consulted some female financial experts for their own helpful advice for women entrepreneurs. Here’s a list of their twelve best ideas:
1. Set a Budget
Include specific financial goals you’d like to achieve in the business, Renee K. Collins, financial adviser and founder of RKC Tax & Financial Services, Inc, said. You can track your revenue and net income via accounting software to see if you’re on target.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Remember to allocate enough resources to sustain yourself and/or your family. “Pay yourself a salary of some sort, continue to save for retirement and make sure others in your life and business circles are making comparable contributions,” Holly Gillian Kindel, a certified financial planner and adviser at Mosaic Financial, said.
3. Do Your Research
When trying to finance your business, it helps to know all of your options. Look into grants provided by the government and other sources. You can learn more about your financing options on the Small Business Administration’s blog and website.
If you’re thinking about taking out a loan, be sure to compare fees and annual percentage rates. The same goes for business credit cards. It can also help to “look for lenders who value women entrepreneurs,” Avani Ramnani, a certified financial planner and director of financial planning and wealth management at Francis Financial, Inc., said.
4. Check Your Credit
“If you have a bad personal credit score, it may affect your chance of getting a small business loan,” Ramnani said. Plus, so-so scores may cost you in interest, so building credit can be instrumental to your business’s success. If your credit scores are looking shoddy, consider paying down high credit card balances, disputing errors on your credit reports and limiting inquiries until your score improves.
5. Know Thy Banker
These days, it’s all too easy to avoid your local branch, but, for entrepreneurs, face-time can prove worthwhile, since it can help you build a solid relationship with your banker. “They can provide you with the right information and the financial support needed to keep your business growing in the future,” Ramnani said.
6. Hire a Good Tax Adviser
You’ll want to ensure that you have the correct business structure, Marguerita Cheng, a certified financial planner and chief executive officer at Blue Ocean Global Wealth, said.
7. Use Credit Cards Wisely
If you’ve got a business credit card on hand, avoid revolving a balance by paying off your entire balance each month as much as possible. All that interest can quickly add up — and business credit cards aren’t subject to the CARD Act, so be aware that your APRs can go up at any time. Here are few more credit card tips you can try to apply.
8. Save, Save, Save
Avoid taking on debt whenever you can, keep business and personal expenses as low as possible and budget for an emergency fund.
9. Seek Out Other Female Entrepreneurs
“If we really are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, it pays to have high standards,” Gillian Kindel said. “As plants grow towards the sun, your habits and behaviors are bound to reflect the achievement and accomplishment of those around you.” Seek out successful women working in leadership and management, and don’t fear tapping their talents and advice to get ahead yourself.
10. Make Sure Your Price Is Right
“Women often under price their services,” Collins said. “I did this when I started my business until I realized what my competitors were charging who had less expertise.”
Research what businesses similar to yours are charging to avoid needlessly undercutting your revenue, then go ahead and lean in.
11. Hire Some Help
“You can’t possibly know everything and delegating to those with expertise will free you up to focus on your strengths,” Gillian Kindel said.
12. Pay It Forward
“Empowering others is crucial and loyalty is priceless,” Gillian Kindel said. “Celebrate wins, debrief on losses and above all, focus on what you want more of. Your employees and clients will see that you are special and you won’t have to worry about differentiating yourself [from] the competition.”
Equipping and encouraging women entrepreneurs is good news for economies all over the world. Whether you’re currently running your own business or still writing your first business plan, the growing momentum behind female entrepreneurs signals new support for everyone’s dreams, and new hope for families and communities everywhere.