Have you always wanted to be your own boss? If you are excited by the dream of selling a particular product or providing a necessary service, you likely have what it takes to start your own business.
Furthermore, when jobs are scarce, using your talents to create an income for yourself and your family is very gratifying. GBTI rewards savers and works with many successful female entrepreneurs. If you are a woman who wants to empower yourself to become an entrepreneur, here is what you need to know:
It is hard to launch a company when money is tight. GBTI supports women entrepreneurs in Guyana. For example, its Women of Worth Loan Facility supports women who are single parents with financing to open their own small businesses.
The program provides loans up to $250,000 at 6 percent interest, payable over 24 months. It operates in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Protection, and applicants are required to first register with the ministry’s Single Parent Registry.
Have a Vision
All business ventures start with an idea. Is there something that you are passionate about? What skillset do you have that others might pay for?
Maybe you are an expert dressmaker who has always made handsome clothing for yourself and your children. Perhaps you raise poultry, can offer childcare or are admired for your hairdressing skills. Whatever you can turn your hand to, think about how it can add value in your community.
GBTI knows that running a business is hard work. It will come as no surprise that an entrepreneur’s success depends on how much time and energy is put into the endeavor.
Hard workers who do their best to satisfy customers build a solid reputation. Constantly looking for ways to improve what the business offers can help grow the business and attract new clients.
Develop a Strong Support System
Every entrepreneur needs a strong support system. Your GBTI loans officer is certainly a valuable part of this. Think about additional supports that you have or may need. You probably have friends and family members that want your company to do well.
It can also be valuable to reach out and make connections with other business women. Networking and learning from others can generate enthusiasm and expose you to new ideas. Additionally, you may find a mentor who is interested in giving you their time and advice.
Persistence is key when it comes to running a company—whatever comes your way. Conditions in communities can change and economic conditions are often unpredictable. Being in charge can sometimes feel overwhelming if there are fewer customers and business income is reduced.
It is very important not to get discouraged during difficult times. Assess what is in your control and what is not. Then, decide what can be done to improve the situation. Reframe any failure as a learning opportunity. By doing this, you will feel more empowered to move forward and make whatever adjustments are necessary in order to reach your goals.
During difficult times, reimagining your products or services might be one way to make some gains. For example, would extending your business hours or bringing your product to a new market be beneficial?
Building a business takes time. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust your expectations, if you had anticipated that your company would expand and be profitable relatively quickly. You are putting a lot of effort into your enterprise, so have some compassion for yourself and recognize that you are doing all that you can in the circumstances.
Engage in Long-Term Planning
Any new enterprise needs a detailed business plan to start with. Business plans help entrepreneurs sort out exactly what the company will do, how the product will be designed and produced or what service will be offered, what financial and human resources are necessary and how success will be defined.
Many times, the early stages are somewhat obvious. However, considering the long term can be more challenging. There are many unknowns involved. Therefore, it is critical to think ahead and do some planning.
Where do you see the company in five years, 10 years and beyond? What goals do you have and how will they carry you into the future? After all, your business is your livelihood. You want to be sure that it is sustainable.
With some proper planning, the right tools, hard work, and perseverance, working for yourself can be immensely satisfying.