After all the passion and hard work you put into building your blog, take it to the next level — the skies the limit. The National Association for Women Business owners reports 40 percent of all privately held companies are owned by women, with a total sales generation of $1.9 trillion. Impressive, right? The following three steps can help guide you from mommy blogger to mommy business owner.
Business Plan: The Foundation of a Mommy Enterprise
A wayward entrepreneurial journey can kill your business if you’re not armed with a solid plan of action. Along with secure funding, an established business plan maps out your route from stay-at-home blogger to work-from-home entrepreneur. Crafting your business plan doesn’t have to drain your startup funds. The organization SCORE provides guidance and assistance on how to establish a solid plan from a group of professionals. SCORE experts mentor entrepreneurial newbies as their way to give back to the community.
Money: Creative Ways to Borrow & Spend
Get creative with how you borrow funds by researching other sources than the bank. The nationwide network of Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are great starting points. The WBC and CDFI are committed to helping women-owned businesses by providing guidance, support and access to cash. Loan amounts typically don’t exceed $100,000 with the CDFIs, but even less amounts can help launch the business and lead to other funding solutions.
Since starting a business is an investment that can require hefty upfront costs, a loan may not cut it. A business credit card not only helps with the establishment of your business, but it can provide rewards you for purchases. According to the AMEX cash back credit card website, business owners can earn discounts and cash back on purchases such as gas. Because of all those errands you run between soccer practice and the grocery store, saving on gas is a good deal. Also, bartering services can cushion those ongoing expenses, such as offering to write original content in exchange for a web designer designing your website.
Business Registration: The Paperwork (sigh)
Registering your business makes it official and keeps your operations legitimate. You don’t have to battle with bales of paperwork either; just submit a few forms to government offices. You can classify your business as a sole proprietorship, which means you are the only owner. As a partnership, you share ownership with one or more people. If you want to protect your personal finances from business debts, the good ole LLC, or limited liability company, is most likely right for you. Visit the federal government’s website to apply for an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, which is your business’s version of your personal SSN. Then log on to the SBA site to register your business name with your state of residence.