3 Shared Money Fears of Many Daring Female Entrepreneurs
Making your dream of business ownership a reality means understanding the money. And money fears are the most significant reasons given when I ask someone why they haven’t pursued their business idea.
If the terms financials, startup costs, revenues, balance sheets, budgets, etc., cause you anxiety, you’re not alone. For most women considering the launch of their own business, their financial concerns fall into three areas:
- Unease with taking the leap and giving up the regular paycheck
- Fear of not having enough capital to successfully launch a business
- Worry about not understanding business financials
The best way to alleviate any fear is to learn more about the basics of accounting and finance. Approach this learning process as another step along your journey to entrepreneurial success.
Additionally, an entrepreneur who takes the time to gain a basic understanding of business financials has a competitive edge. Using the right financial tools and knowing what the numbers are telling you enables you to make strategic business decisions and drive the success of your business.
Now, let’s work through the three concerns one at a time.
Giving Up the Security of a Regular Paycheck
A reliable stream of money coming in is critical for most of us. Letting go of that sense of stability can be frightening and frankly a no-go for many. Helping you “bridge” the gap includes some careful planning including these considerations:
- Build a startup fund. Set aside a set amount from each paycheck. Consider delaying the start of your business until you have a sufficient nest egg to meet both startup and ongoing expenses.
- Work toward paying off outstanding debt. Being debt free before starting a business isn’t required, but it helps relieve crippling worries and pressure. If that’s not possible, include debt reduction in your business plan.
- Consider starting small and/or part-time with a transition plan. Is there a way to launch your business part-time with an eye toward future expansion? A com article reports that nearly 44 million people have a side business, some of these creating bridges from the security of regular paychecks to entrepreneurships in a gradual manner.
Acquiring Capital to Launch Your Business
All businesses need some startup capital. Estimate your startup expenses by considering these things:
- Equipment (computer, furniture, machines, etc.)
- Professional services (accountant, Web developer, attorney)
- Business/office supplies
- Legal fees
- Marketing costs
- Insurance costs
- Printing costs
- Rent, utilities, phone
Many entrepreneurs find ways of launching their businesses with money from their own savings or through loans from friends and family. In their book A Rising Tide, Financing Strategies for Women Owned Firms, Susan Coleman and Alicia Robb offer this advice:
- Clarify expectations by agreeing that the money is a loan, an equity investment or a gift
- Work with an attorney to document the terms, e.g., interest rate, repayment schedule, collateral for loans or ownership share and voting rights for equity
- Treat loans from family or friends the same as any formal investor, by making payments and providing financial information on time
- Recognize the risks. Both families and friendships can break up over issues involving money.
Alternately, if you choose to pursue a bank loan, remember that lenders are looking for good investments and to make sure the loan and interest will be repaid. Turn a possible “no” into a “yes” by being prepared with your credit history, personal financial information and a well-thought-through business plan. Also, because banks vary widely, do your homework and shop around for the best terms.
As you move forward, create a separate business account to ensure there is no co-mingling of personal and business funds.
Understanding Business Financials
You must be financially conversational to succeed as a business owner. The three main business financial statements are the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement. Here we’ll take a cursory look, but I strongly encourage you to find a book or course to become competent with them.
- The balance sheet shows your financial position at any given time. It includes your assets (cash, accounts receivable and things you own) and liabilities (debts, salaries, interest due, taxes). The bottom line of a balance sheet always includes: Assets = liabilities + net worth.
- The income statement (also known as the profit and loss statement, statement of earnings or operating statement) shows how much revenue a company earned over a specific period and the expenses incurred to earn that revenue. Reviewing this document every 30 days enables you to see fluctuations and make adjustments to help drive profitability.
- The cash flow statement tells you at any given time the amount of cash coming in and out of your business. It shows if you have enough funds to cover your operating expenses for the next month(s). If your business is seasonal or if, like all businesses, you have a month or two where sales are down, you need to know if you have enough cash to sustain business operations.
If you aren’t confident in your business finance knowledge, commit to learning because understanding financial statements is critical to the success of your business. Used together, they can guide you, allowing you to make sound business decisions.
This article is the sixth in a series to help women entrepreneurs like you look at what’s keeping you from moving forward, overcome doubts and understand the fundamentals and the mindset needed to help make you successful. They are not designed to help you build your financials or create your marketing plan, but rather to prod you to think bigger … and begin thinking with the mindset of an entrepreneur. They will appear on our blog: https://insightsnationalseminarstraining.com/ and in our free monthly professional women’s newsletter which you can subscribe to: http://www.nationalseminarstraining.com/womenslink/index.cfm
If you missed our first five articles, read them here:
- Women Entrepreneurs: What’s Keeping You From Starting the Business of Your Dreams
- Creating the Mindset for Success as a Female Entrepreneur
- 7 Questions to Ponder Before You Start a New Business
- Does Starting a Business Feel Too Risky to You? (NST Version)
- Why Women Need to Break Free From the Ideal of “Having it All”