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children in daycare Photo via Pixabay by Kokabdeen

In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in the number of female entrepreneurs in the U.S., in part because of sites like Etsy, which allow artists, writers, and creators of furniture and clothing to design, make, and sell their own goods for a nominal fee. It may be a big undertaking to start a brick-and-mortar business, but internet-based companies are a different beast. They allow anyone to start selling with no startup money and very little risk; in the case of Etsy, sellers pay about 20 cents per item in their shop, so if it doesn't get sold, it's not a big loss.

It's not just internet businesses that women are taking advantage of; in-home child care, candle and soap making, and sewing are just a few of the ways females are taking charge of their careers and setting their own financial goals. If you're thinking about doing it yourself a little planning will go a long way. Here are some of the best tips on how to go about it.

No matter what you're planning to build your business around, you need to do some research first. Do you have any competition nearby? If so, check out what they charge customers so you won't be undercut. It's also a good idea to get a feel for how they conduct business; for instance, if you'll be selling items on Etsy, talk to other sellers to find out how much they charge for international shipping, or whether they make items in advance or to order. Getting advice from people who have been in the game for a while will help you avoid mistakes and keep your frustration level at a minimum.

Starting your own business takes a lot of energy and know-how, so it might be helpful if you take some classes that can teach you how to handle it all. Whether it's an actual business class or a course on child safety and CPR, having that knowledge will make you look more professional to your customers and will help you run your business more smoothly.

Getting organized is a big part of planning, as well, especially if your business will be run entirely out of your home. If you are interested in opening a child care center, you'll need to do some research on state guidelines and make sure your home qualifies. Having a clean, well-lit, fully functional space for children to learn and thrive in is imperative in giving you a leg up on the competition.

If you'll be getting creative and making something--clothing, furniture, art, or bath products, for instance--making sure you have a neat, organized space to work in is important. You'll want to have your own area in the house for creating where your items won't be touched by curious little hands, and make sure you have adequate space to work in.

Social network, that is. When you own a business, word-of-mouth counts for a lot, but you'll never get customers if they can't find you. It's best to have a website for your company, but social media is just as good. Set up a page for your business on Facebook and Instagram, make it public, and share photos and engaging posts to pull potential customers in. You can also run specials and contests on these pages, which will draw your fans in while spreading the word about what you do.

Author: Gloria Martinez

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