Many women are opting out of the traditional corporate 9-to-5 jobs by choosing to start their own businesses — 424 women start businesses each day, more than twice the rate of men. That means 15.6 million American women have left traditional jobs to venture into the entrepreneurial world, an exciting and rewarding career choice, but one worth examining carefully before taking the leap.
Identify the WHY. There are many reasons to start a business. Knowing why you want to start a business will guide your critical business decisions. Be honest about what you are looking for: Autonomy? Flexibility? A creative outlet? Ownership? Once you are clear about your needs, the next step is to speak with established entrepreneurs to learn if your expectations are realistic.
Pinpoint your FEARS. Know what intimidates you so you can take specific action to combat those fears rather than letting them stand in your way. For example, if you are afraid of running out of money, set up an appointment with a financial planner and map out the financial details.
Clarify the ADVANTAGES and DISADVANTAGES. Understand what you are getting yourself into so you can make an informed decision.
Gather INFORMATION. Do your research. Talk to as many people as possible who have started businesses to learn from their successes and mistakes. Read as many books as you can get your hands on. Spend the time learning the marketplace and your target clients, as well as the competition.
Seek SUPPORT. Mobilize a team behind you to ensure success. Seek role model(s), mentor(s), a business coach, fellow entrepreneurs, etc. Entrepreneurship can be isolating, so you want to put measures in place to counteract this common complaint
Adena Berkan Conway is a member of NAFE, The National Association for Female Executives – and principal partner inBerkman Fives LLC, women’s career and entrepreneurial specialists