The good news is, if you’re a woman of color there’s never been a better time to start your own business. Black women in particular comprise much of the recent job growth and are driving market numbers way up. #Blessed #Stunt #FlexThen #BossUp
But forging your own path isn’t without its risks especially if you don’t know the landscape and/or aren’t properly equipped. I want to see all of my sista-squad winwinwin no matter what. So, in the spirit of empowerment, here’s a list of free money to get you going, and my top 5 questions to ask before starting any project. Let’s go far together!
Have tips or tricks on getting started? Drop some knowledge in the comments section below!
1. Mission/Message: Why am I starting this project? What do I hope to accomplish? What is my vision for this business? How does this project help me tell my story? What is my value to this industry? Am I starting this project for the right reasons?
3. Model: Do I have a business blueprint? Do I have business checks and balances? Do I need a mentor? Do I have clear deadlines/benchmarks? What are my short/long term goals? What are my blind spots? How will I handle emergencies? How will I measure long/short term success?
3. Marketing: Who is my target/core demographic? Is my website appealing and functional? How will I engage my core audience? What is my social media engagement strategy? How will I resolve/deescalate customer service issues? How will I retain and grow my customer base?
4. Map: Who are the leaders in my industry? What is working for them? What are the market trends right now? What is driving those trends? What are some roadblocks? How is success measured in this field? What will growth look like for me? What is the lifespan of this type of work? What is the trajectory for businesses like mine or entrepreneurs like me? Where do I see opportunities to fill a void in this market? How will my business elevate the industry?
5. Money: How will my business generate income? Do I need a sponsor or partner? Have I researched grants/fellowships/endowments relating to my business? What do I need to know about tax filing? When can I expect to see returns on investment/purchases/seed money? Where can my business trim costs? How can my business generate additional income?
(Photo cred: Tena Gansert)