Do you dream of having your own business? More and more women each year discover the excitement of being self-employed.
If it sounds good to you, the prospects have never been better or the resources greater to help you get started. Enterprising women across America are building businesses that in 2005 employed 18.2 million people and generated $2.32 trillion in sales.
The first important step for a would-be entrepreneur is honest self-assessment:
- Do you have the right stuff to be happy working for yourself?
- Are you comfortable with risk, competition, and decision-making? Can you manage your time and money effectively?
- Can you solve problems, set goals, and hold yourself accountable for success and failure?
If you say “YES!” read on.
What makes a successful business idea? Experts agree that it starts with something you like to do and are good at. Success follows those who really enjoy what they are doing. A great example is popular TV chef Rachel Ray who in the past few years has achieved fame and fortune doing what she loves—cooking, traveling and sharing her ideas in books, a new magazine, and her own TV talk show. She always looks like she’s having fun!
Be sure your business idea calls forth your best talents. Your work should require you to use these things: the skills people compliment you or praise you about; the activities you like so well you would still do them even if you won the lottery; the ideas you have for making the world a better place; and the life experience, education, and training you have.
Once an enterprising woman has found a service or product to be the heart of her business, she can make use of the many resources available for help in getting started. These include the nonprofit SCORE counseling organization at www.score.org and the federal government’s Small Business Administration Office of Women’s Business Ownership. There’s plenty of peer support, too. The number of self-employed women grew 77 percent from 1983 to 2005—to a total of 4.7 million.
Today’s women have greater opportunities than ever before to find fulfillment and express themselves through their work. It’s also a chance to extend prosperity to others. According to the Department of Labor, “Women entrepreneurs are creating jobs, hope and opportunities in every community in America.”