October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and we can’t wait to celebrate with everyone. Did you know that women own 42% of all businesses in
October is National Women’s Small Business Month, and we can’t wait to celebrate with everyone. Did you know that women own 42% of all businesses in the US? These businesses employ over 9.4 million people. In addition to that, 39% of the small businesses in the US are owned by women. We are so proud of all women business owners, especially those with small businesses because we’re small businesses ourselves. We challenge all women-owned businesses to celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month. Here are 7 ways you can do that.
1. Get Educated
Running a business is no easy feat. In addition to gathering experience, there is so much to learn. You must learn about sales, marketing, taxes, funding, and the list. Now is a good time to start if you haven’t started strengthening your business skills.
While all areas of business are important, we want to spotlight funding. According to IncFile, “73% of women entrepreneurs say they’ve experienced difficulty getting funding for their businesses.”
In addition to that, only 32% of women who apply for business funding get approved.
All businesses need money to run, so many women-owned businesses could fail without funding.
While we can’t change the misogyny that prevents women from getting funding overnight, we can increase our chances starting today. You can:
- Establish a good relationship with your bank. Here’s how to choose the right bank.
- Get a business line of credit.
- Learn how to apply for grants
- Find out about the funding resources available to you
- Establish several streams of income
2. Mentor Someone
You don’t have to be a 6 figure business owner before you can start mentoring someone. No matter where you are in your business journey, you have valuable insight for other women in business.
Being a mentor is usually rewarding for everyone involved. Remember, you’ll be helping another woman follow their dreams.
Mentoring often involves:
- Building trust
- Helping your mentee to establish goals
- Sharing your knowledge and insight
- Pointing people to resources and opportunities
- Encouraging and motivating your mentee
- Celebrating wins with your mentee
If this sounds like something that you would love, the next step is finding someone to mentor. You can start by:
- Posting about it on social media and creating a form that interested applicants can fill out
- Going to your alma mater, whether high school or college and joining their mentorship program
- Getting involved at your local church, club, or societies
- Going on SCORE and registering as a mentor
- Asking your network and community
3. Find a Mentor
Even if you’re mentoring other women, it’s perfectly normal to be mentored by someone else. Your mentor would be somebody that already achieved what you want to achieve.
Having a mentor can provide the motivation, clarity, and knowledge you need to achieve your dreams.
If you’re looking for a mentor, you can:
- Join SCORE
- Reach out to the business owner directly after already establishing a relationship.
- Ask your past college to introduce you to someone in your field
- Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
- Join professional associations
You can also get inspired by other business owners who you may not know personally and learn from them along the way.
Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the power of mentorship.
4. Buy from a Woman-Owned Business
One of the simplest actions you can talk to celebrate this month is simply buying from women-owned businesses.
Over the years, we have provided several opportunities for women to advertise their businesses. We have promoted through:
- Shopping guides
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
If you can an eye on our platforms, you’ll have plenty of women-owned businesses to support.
Besides us, you can find women-owned businesses to support by:
- Searching social media using hashtags like #womanowned
- Visiting Yelp
- Finding women-owned stores in your community
- Asking your network
After buying from these businesses, if you love the product or service, let other people know. You can post it on your social media platforms or mention it to your friends and family. By doing that, you can help that business get more customers, which can make a world of difference for the owner.
5. Get Certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business
Now is a good time to start if you have a woman-owned business but aren’t certified.
Being certified as a woman-owned small business (WOSB) or economically disadvantaged woman-owned small business (EDWOSB) can open up your business to many opportunities, such as government contracts.
You can get certified by applying yourself or through a third party if you meet the requirements highlighted by the US Chamber.
Self-application is free. If you want to go that route, US Chamber says you need to make sure you have:
- An active registration in the System for Award Management (SAM)
- IRS Form 4506-T, Request for Tax Transcript for each woman business owner and her spouse (for EDWOSB)
- Certain documents include articles of incorporation and birth certificates, naturalization papers, or active passports for each women owner.
- Issued stock certificates and stock ledger.
- Assumed/fictitious name certificate
- Your three most recent personal tax returns. That includes W-2s and all schedules for each woman business owner and her spouse (for EDWOSB)
Once you have everything in order, you can apply through the Small Business Administration (SBA)
If you want to go through a third party, the US Chamber says that the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council are approved third-party companies. However, they may have different requirements, which you’ll have to research.
According to IncFile, “32% of women entrepreneurs said their fellow small business owners were the most beneficial resource for navigating the pandemic.”
We can’t emphasize enough how important it is for small business owners to network with other She Bosses.
Networking will not only provide you with opportunities but valuable support. You can form your own networking groups or join another.
We regularly have virtual networking meetups where attendees can pitch their businesses and share expertise. Stay tuned to our platforms to find out when the next staging is.
If you’re looking for more consistent support, you can join our Facebook membership called She Boss Tribe. You’ll get to:
- Chat and learn from experts
- Access to exclusive events
- Support from like-minded She Bosses
If Facebook is not your preferred platform, we also have a YouTube membership which provides similar benefits.
7. Promote Your Business
Coincidentally, October is also Self Promotion Month. If you’re a woman with a small business, we challenge you to promote your business. Business owners often don’t promote their business enough but wonder why they’re not growing at the rates they want or making more money.
Don’t be shy; let your audience know what you have to offer and how it can benefit them. You can do this by:
- Posting about the benefits of your products or services on social media
- Sending a sales email
- Telling friends, families, and other people in your network about your business
- Hopping on a podcast
We also have many options for you to promote your business on our platform this month and beyond. Remember, people can’t support your awesome business if they don’t know it exists. Never stop promoting.
We’re excited to see how you will celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month. Be sure to share this blog with your network to inspire everyone and encourage them to join the celebration.
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