Starting a business as a woman


                                                                         Table of content...
Starting a business as a woman


Subjects covered in this guide
                                                          ...
Starting a business as a woman


If your business idea involves an invention                              A business plan ...
Starting a business as a woman


                                                                         When it comes to...
Starting a business as a woman


careful research before choosing the legal                               There are also l...
Starting a business as a woman


Loans to help with ongoing training                                      where the sole p...
Starting a business as a woman


your marketing strategy | Write a
marketing plan | Use our interactive tool              ...
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Starting a business as a woman

  1. 1. Starting a business as a woman Table of contents Starting a business as a woman 2 Introduction 2 Formulate your business idea 2 Creating a business plan 3 Formulate a marketing plan 4 Starting up - structure and legal issues 4 Running a home-based business 5 Funding and support for female entrepreneurs 5 Business networking 6 Helplines 6 Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk 6 Related web sites you might find useful 7 Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 You can personalise content from the Business Link website and download it in PDF format. This is a free service Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 1
  2. 2. Starting a business as a woman Subjects covered in this guide Introduction Introduction This guide will help you decide whether Formulate your business idea starting a business is for you. It will guide you through the basics, such as coming up Creating a business plan with an idea, business planning, sources of funding and where to get help, advice and Formulate a marketing plan training. Starting up - structure and legal issues Women represent half the UK's population, Running a home-based business but are the largest under-represented group in the UK in terms of participation in Funding and support for female business. However, recent research entrepreneurs suggests that women are increasingly likely to believe they have the skills to start a Business networking business. There is also evidence that women are more likely than men to seek out Helplines the business support and advice that can help them succeed. This is especially true Related guides on businesslink.gov.uk for start-ups. Related web sites you might find useful Starting a business can be an option that fits in well with your work-life balance, whether your priorities are increasing work flexibility or entering traditionally male-dominated sectors, such as IT, science, engineering You can find this guide by navigating to: and technology. Home > Starting up > Starting a business - meeting the challenges > Starting a Starting a business can be a challenge, but business as a woman there is a significant amount of advice and information available to ensure that you get the best start possible, and to help you to understand your responsibilities. Formulate your business idea If you are seriously considering starting your own business then you may already have an idea. If this is the case, then the next step is to undertake research to test if there is a market for your product or service and to formulate a business plan. Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 2
  3. 3. Starting a business as a woman If your business idea involves an invention A business plan is important for the of some sort then you need to find out business owner because going through the whether someone else has already process of writing one helps to focus your implemented or registered the intellectual mind on everything from where the business property. is going to be based, through to where you are going to find your first customer. If you don't already have an idea then there are many options. Start by thinking about It is also a blueprint for the future your existing skills - do you already have a development of the business and the specialism that would lend itself to starting a document that any potential investors will business? Someone with a marketing want to read before they lend to you. The qualification, for example, could start their people or organisations that might request own marketing company or a musician could to see a copy of your business plan include offer tutorials. banks, friends and family, grant providers and any potential partners. Some women are keen to start a business so that they have better work-life balance. It Some of the key things a business plan could be that starting a business from home should include are: would be logical, perhaps selling goods via your own or someone else's website, for • An executive summary. example. • A description of the business. • A marketing and sales strategy - who Another option might be to start a franchise. you think your customers are going A franchisee licences a business model to be and how you are going to reach from a franchisor and then runs it with the them. franchisor's help, who takes a slice of the • Information on your management profits in return. team and personnel. • Information on your operations, Once you have a business idea the next including your business premises step is to research it and write a business (which might be your home), your IT plan. Doing this will help you focus your and management information mind on whether the idea is a good one. systems. Organisations such as banks or financial • Financial forecasts - how much you institutions will also request your business need to start the business and where plan if you need to approach them about you are going to get this money from, start-up capital. how much you think the business is going to make and what salary you plan to take, etc. Creating a business plan As well as having a business plan, a well-thought out marketing plan is essential A business plan is a key document for any too. start-up business. It describes the business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 3
  4. 4. Starting a business as a woman When it comes to starting a business, one of Formulate a marketing plan the first things you need to work out is what legal structure your business is going to After the business plan, you might want to take, whether that is a sole trader, think about a marketing plan. Sometimes, a partnership, limited liability partnership or marketing plan is the next most important limited company. document that a new business owner will write, setting out how you are going to target and interest potential customers in your The structure you choose will depend on a product or service. However, before you sit number of factors but it is important to give it down to work on it you will need to: careful consideration because your decision can affect a number of things including: • understand your market • know who your potential customers • the tax and national insurance that are you have to pay • know the competition • the records and accounts you have to keep • the way management decisions are Besides setting out what your marketing made strategy is going to be, a marketing plan should also set targets, such as how much each marketing activity should increase Some of the options include: sales, what the budget is for each activity and who in the business will be responsible • sole trader - this is the simplest way for each activity. Some of the marketing to run a business, keeping accounts strategies you might consider, for example, is straightforward and any profits include: belong to you but you are also personally liable for any debts • advertising and public relations • partnership - two or more people • a direct mail campaign share the risks and responsibilities of • taking a stand at an exhibition running the business, which means • an email marketing campaign an equal share of any profits but also • setting up a website debts • limited liability partnership - similar to a partnership but liability is limited to Business support organisations, such as what each partner has invested and Business Link, can help with setting out your any personal guarantees they have marketing and business plans and you may given also be able to attend start-up events or • limited liability company - limited courses which cover writing a marketing companies exist in their own right plan as part of their content. and can raise money through shareholders Starting up - structure and legal Other company formats include franchises, issues social enterprises and co-operatives. It is beneficial to take legal advice or to carry out Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 4
  5. 5. Starting a business as a woman careful research before choosing the legal There are also legal issues you need to status of your business. consider when starting a home-based business. In some cases it might have There are many other times when taking consequences on your mortgage legal advice might be useful, including when repayments or you might need to change buying and renting business premises, your home insurance or start paying taking steps to protect your intellectual business rates. Speak to your mortgage property and when buying a franchise. provider, home insurer and the Valuation Office Agency, which advises on business rates, to find out more. Running a home-based business Funding and support for female One of the key questions you will need to start thinking about straight away is where entrepreneurs your business is going to be run from. It is completely natural to have concerns about starting a business. You may have If you are planning on opening a shop or worries about money - especially if leaving another customer-facing business, then you paid employment - or you may have some will need to find suitable premises. However, self-doubt about your skills and abilities. many other types of business are suited to being run from home. Many businesses are Help with funding run this way because the business owner doesn't want to take the risk of renting or Once you have written your business and buying business premises straight away. marketing plans, you will have a good idea of how much money you are going to need to get started. There are various options you Starting a home-based business can be can consider, which may include bank particularly useful for women with caring loans, loans from friends and family, venture responsibilities because it can allow them to capital and business start-up grants or a have better control over their work-life mixture of these. There are various balance. In fact, there are some businesses schemes to help fund start-up businesses, that lend themselves particularly well to including specific funds aimed at female being a home-based operation. entrepreneurs. There are some issues you will need to be Support available aware of though. Although running a home-based business will benefit your There are many business support work-life balance, you also need to take organisations - both general, such as care to separate your family and work life. If Business Link, and those aimed directly at you decide to work from home it can help to women - that can help. For example, the have a separate office, for example, and to Prowess website gives details of all try and keep family and work life as women's business support organisations by separate as possible. region, and these can give you advice on grants and loans in their area. Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 5
  6. 6. Starting a business as a woman Loans to help with ongoing training where the sole point is to network or where networking is a secondary bonus. Others If you need to improve your business skills might give you the opportunity to network before or after starting up a business, you online, while Business Link also runs plenty can apply for a Professional and Career of events where you could meet other Development Loan. This is a deferred female business owners. repayment bank loan aimed at financing the training and qualifications that will help individuals further their career or business. Some women also find it extremely useful to have a business mentor - usually someone who is a business owner or has been in the Search our Grants and Support Directory past - to support them in starting and of grants, advice and support. developing their venture. Organisations such as the Prince's Trust offer mentoring Find out about Professional and Career services for young women, whilst the Make Development Loans on the Directgov Your Mark Campaign can provide you with website - Opens in a new window. access to mentors and networks. If you are a student or graduate the National Business networking Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship may be able to offer you with advice and support. Besides being an extremely exciting time, taking the decision to start your own business can sometimes be a bit daunting. You might wonder whether you are doing Helplines the right thing and question whether you Business Link Helpline have the skills to succeed. 0845 600 9 006 Talking to other women who have already set up their own business can be helpful, allowing you to gain confidence from their HMRC Newly Self-Employed Helpline experiences and share any concerns. 0845 915 4515 Networking can also help from a business Network point of view as you might meet someone who you can partner with. A wedding-cake designer might be able to do Related guides on joint advertising or share an exhibition stand with a local wedding-dress shop, for businesslink.gov.uk example. Search our Grants and Support Directory of grants, subsidies and advice | Listen There are lots of business organisations to expert advice on starting a business in aimed specifically at women on a local and our series of audio interviews | Starting a national level. These include the Women in business during a recession | Protecting Business Network, everywoman, Prowess intellectual property | Buy a franchise | and Women at Work. Many offer access to Prepare a business plan | Use your face-to-face networking events - either business plan to get funding | Create Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 6
  7. 7. Starting a business as a woman your marketing strategy | Write a marketing plan | Use our interactive tool learndirect Business website - Opens in to find out which legal structure is right a new window for your business | How to choose and manage a solicitor | Meet the need for Homeworkers' business rate information work-life balance | Choose the right on the Valuation Office Agency website - premises for your business | Business Opens in a new window rates | Choose the right finance when starting up | The Small Firms Loan Local business support for women on Guarantee | Online networking | Learning the Prowess website - Opens in a new through networking with others | window Networking and mentoring | Professional and Career Development Related web sites you might find Loans on the Directgov website - Opens in a new window useful Business support for women on the Networking information on the Make Prowess website - Opens in a new Your Mark website - Opens in a new window window Business support on the Women in Online business mentoring on the Business Network website - Opens in a horsesmouth website - Opens in a new new window window Business support on the everywoman Business support on the Women at Work website - Opens in a new window website - Opens in a new window Franchise information on the British Franchise Association website - Opens in a new window Identifying your intellectual property factsheet (PDF, 212K) - Opens in a new window Sample business plans on the Bplans website - Opens in a new window Business plan templates on the Microsoft Office website - Opens in a new window Online marketing courses on the Starting a business as a woman | Created by Business Link on 23 November 2009 10:45 Ã#¨ Crown copyright 2007 Page 7

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