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Guest Blog - Successfully Starting Your Own Business as a Woman

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In 2015, there were nearly 9.4 million women-owned businesses in the United States. That’s an increase of 7.4 million since 2007, which saw only 2 million women-owned businesses. So if you’re a woman wanting to build a business from the ground up, the world of entrepreneurship is shifting in your favor.
 
Finding Inspiration
 
In order to sell a product or service, you must first have an idea of what you’d like to offer. You may already have an idea in mind, or you may need to find a little inspiration. If you fall in the latter category, try seeking an opportunity for a need in the market. Network and talk to people around you to see what conveniences are lacking in their lives. Also, try to think about what you need in your own life. If something is bugging you, it could be a business opportunity. For example, one entrepreneur launched a successful textbook rental website after being bothered by the sky-high prices of college textbooks.
 
You can also take your skills and knowledge and apply it to a new field. One woman took her training in chemical engineering and her frustration with workout gear, and she created a new product for women who workout. If there’s an area you’re interested in getting into, Entrepreneur.com suggests speaking to the shoppers directly. For example, if you really want to get involved with mountain bikes, go to a store that sells them and ask shoppers in that department what they wish was available for the bikes or their accessories.
 
Reaching Out and Marketing
 
Marketing is an important part of getting your product or service to sell. Begin by determining your target market and finding out as much information about them as you can, including where they live, income levels, family lifestyles, and what types of media they use. Next, create a marketing plan to determine how you’ll alert your target market about the benefits and features of your product or service. You’ll need to determine the best promotional tactics to use, such as where to place ads and whether to use coupons.
 
According to the 2016 Women in Business Trend Report, it’s best to start out small in your marketing efforts. Focus on one thing and expand from there. Try using new marketing tools as you go to accomplish your goals.
 
Don’t forget to take notes on your competitors. Figure out how your products, pricing, and messages differ. Remember that a competitor isn’t always direct. For example, if you make necklaces, you may the only person making handmade necklaces in your area, but any store that sells jewelry is a competitor.
 
Self-distribution
 
To get your product or service to sell, you must also choose an avenue of distribution. If you’re offering a service, you can launch your own website or blog to promote your ideas. If you’re offering a physical product, you can have a storefront or sell online. Some companies exclusively utilize one or the other, while others combine both methods. You don’t have to buy or rent a place to have a storefront. “If you sell a very localized item, rent a booth at the local flea market or farmer’s market to find buyers,” suggests the Houston Chronicle.
 
One of the most popular ways for women to sell their own products is online through sales sites, such as Etsy, Amazon, and Ebay. Etsy is a particularly popular site for women. In fact, 86 percent of Etsy sellers are female, and 76 percent say they run their businesses through the site. Although many supplement their income in other ways, about 30 percent use their Etsy store as their sole occupation.
 
There are many ways in which women become entrepreneurs. Some women turn a hobby into a business, such as selling jewelry online. Other women overcome a personal challenge, such as becoming sober or losing weight, and use that as a platform for a money-making blog. Sometimes women come up with a brilliant idea or see a need for a product and run with it. Regardless of your how life led you to entrepreneurship or what product or service you sell, once you succeed, you can look back at your hard work and the journey and have a profound appreciation for all of your accomplishments.



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