You might be a rock star at unplugging the kitchen sink or crafting a killer bridal updo. You might love to transform the backyard into a wonderland. Maybe you're that guy who can fix anything.
Whatever your skill, kudos for following your passion and turning it into a business you can call your own. What you might not be prepared for is all the business stuff that comes with chasing your dream and becoming a small business owner.
But for your business to grow, you have to be as good at running a business as you are at the things your business does. As a small business owner, you need to understand the ins and outs of running a business.
Learn about these finance terms related to running a small business.
Accounts payable is the term used to identify the money you owe to others. It might be another vendor or supplier. They are your business obligations owed to others.
Think of accounts receivable as the opposite of accounts payable. The receivable part is the money owed to your business for your services. If you provide the service and invoice a client, it becomes your accounts receivable.
This is the term that explains the income you get over a period of time. The revenue goes into your accounts receivables.
Assets are valuables owned by your company. Assets can be tangible, such as real estate, equipment, and furniture, or intangible, such as trademarks and patents.
A business plan is the foundation of your business. This document fleshes out your mission and vision, ownership details, organizational structure, capital requirements, income projections, and your sales and marketing strategy.
Cash Flow/Cash Flow Statement
Cash flow is the amount of money that comes into and goes out of your business over a period of time.
Each month your business has accounts receivables. This is the cash flowing into your business. Also, each month your business has cash leaving it through your accounts payable.
The cash flow statement records these transactions within a specified period.
Small businesses often need to obtain a line of credit to help them get started and cover their expenses. Your credit limit tells the maximum amount of money an investor or a lender can give you.
Gross Profit and Net Profit
As a business owner, profit is important to you. Understanding the difference between gross and net profit is critical.
Gross profits are the profits you have coming into your business once you subtract the cost of the items you sold.
Net profits are not just the cost of the item minus the cost of the product. It is the profits minus all expenses related to the business. Net profits commonly referred to as the bottom line, explain how much money is left in the business after all the costs and expenses are subtracted.
An income statement, also known as profit and loss statement, shows a business' revenues and expenses.
By studying an income statement, a business owner can easily know their profits or losses. They can also tell if their expenses are too high, and establish whether the business is on course to meet its financial objectives.
Understand These Finance Terms!
Being a small business owner means being business-savvy and keeping an eye on the money. With this guide on basic finance terms, you now have a stronger understanding of your business' finances.
Keep learning and feel free to learn more about how we can help your business.
36% of American businesses are women-owned, and 99.9% of them are considered small businesses. Based on these statistics, there's a very good chance you're a woman who owns a small company.
As a woman (and especially if you're a woman of color), it can be difficult to get your business off the ground. To help you out, here are 4 key tips for networking women.
1. Attend Gender-Specific Events
When you attend conferences geared towards women, you'll find that networking is a lot easier to do, especially if you're in a male-dominated field. When women get together, they tend to band together to support one another.
When you feel comfortable in a space, you tend to feel more confident. This can motivate you to make more connections that you would've had you attended a mixed-gender event.
2. Join Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces are great places to link up with other entrepreneurs. Whether they're also struggling in the road to success, or they own hugely profitable companies, you're sure to find a mixed bag of like-minded people.
Mingling with entrepreneurs you meet in co-working spaces serves two purposes:
- You can put your heads together with those who have just started out and help each other bring in business,
- You can get some mentoring from those who are more experienced.
3. Be Assertive
Being assertive can do wonders; not just for yourself, but for your networking efforts as well. When people sense that you know what you want, and you know how to get it, they'll be more open to discussions with you.
People are also at events for the same reason as you: to network. So don't dance around what you're trying to achieve.
Instead, make the most of everyone's time by directing the conversation toward a shared business interest. They'll certainly welcome a mutually beneficial subject.
4. Always Follow Up
You may have spent hours at an event painstakingly gathering information on people you've met. But what's the point of doing so if you don't do anything with that info afterward?
The most important thing about networking is following up. A few days after the conference, you'll want to go through your contacts list and get in touch with everyone.
Make sure to thank them for their time and mention your conversation briefly to remind them of who you are. They'll appreciate the personal touch, and you open the doors to a meaningful and long-lasting relationship.
Becoming a Part of Networking Women to Succeed
When you join the ranks of networking women, you're sure to see your business succeed. While it may not be the ideal thing you want to do with your time, think of networking as an investment.
Every time you attend an event, you're building your web of contacts a little more. In time, you'll have a reliable network of people you can rely on to help grow your business.
If your company needs funding and you'd like to make a pitch to us, apply now!
Your vision board is up, and it's filled with some of your loftiest business dreams and goals as a woman in 2019. The question is, how exactly can you turn those dream ideas into real, winning ones?
Research shows that only 8% of people end up achieving their goals.
That's right - eight percent.
The truth is, a vision is nothing but a dream that's lacking feet. So, if you're serious about turning 2019 into a successful year of dreams fulfilled, not dreams deferred now is a great time to tap into the advice of Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette Clarke.
Here are a few words of wisdom for female entrepreneurs from Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, which she shared at a recent annual Success Supper. The point of the dinner is to celebrate and recognize women who exude grace, demonstrate fortitude and positively impact their communities.
Let's get started!
1. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke: "Stay focused enough [on your] own goals and aspirations."
Keep your eyes on the prize -- on your unique aspirations and goals.
The truth is, it's easy to get sidetracked if you're always listening to other people's external voices instead of your inner voice. You know what you want, better than anyone else. So allow that to be your guiding light when you get out of bed each morning.
2. "It’s important for us to stay true to ourselves. Not everyone is going to be out here [protesting] in the street, but some folk may fund the movement. Not everyone is going to be the person who is going to be out front, but every leader is building an organization of support.”
One of the biggest mistakes that people make is not staying true to themselves.
For example, when it comes to tackling political issues, not everybody will be comfortable with protesting on the street. However, those who don't want to protest can still fund the movement at hand.
It's okay if you're not the type of person who enjoys being out front. The most important thing is that you're active, fighting for what you believe in. And that's true in both the political world and the business world.
Also, build a strong organization of supporters. They'll give you the fuel you need to keep pressing on toward your goal.
3. “Always trust in yourself and your abilities. Be self-aware, because understanding yourself helps you to improve your leadership.”
One of the biggest challenges that people have is believing in themselves.
However, never doubt your abilities. The more you understand yourself and what you're capable of, the better you'll be as an entrepreneur and leader.
4. “We’re not using our influence. Were very influential. As a matter of fact, there is not a popular trend that’s been started that we have not been at the heart of.”
A major mistake that aspiring entrepreneurs make is not using their influence.
Believe it or not, you are very influential. So, use your platform for good. The more you realize how influential you are, the more driven you'll be to achieve your big-picture dream.
5. “It’s about the circles you’re in, your network. We have to ask ourselves, who is in our network? The challenge for our community is not one of worth; it’s one of trust. Because we’re spending money every day how much of those dollars do you spend with black entrepreneurs?”
If you're going around in circles as a new entrepreneur, perhaps you should check who all is in your circle.
Can you trust everybody in your network?
Be sure to surround yourself with people who will make your journey to the finish line easier, not harder. And remember, not everyone you come across in your life -- whether in the business setting or even in your own family -- deserves a seat at the table.
How We Can Help
In addition to providing encouraging words from influential leaders like Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, we partner with leading foundations, organizations, venture funds and incubators in the United States to support today's women, black and brown startup founders.
If you've got talent, we're passionate about helping you to gain access to the financial capital, knowledge capital and social capital you need.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help you to realize your business dream in 2019.
Did you know that only 20% of C-suite leaders are women? Of that 20%, fewer than one in 30 is a woman of color. Does that mean that an aspiring businesswoman has little chance for upward movement? Hardly! The truth is that there are many hard-working, successful women in business. Are you ready to be one of them? In this post, we'll give you some insight into behaviors that successful women in business avoid.
1. Own Your Role as an Entrepreneur
If you want to be successful in business, the first step is to own your role in that business. Avoid becoming your own worst enemy by buying into negative stereotypes around gender or heritage. You are a woman - but first and foremost, you are a capable and professional entrepreneur. Remember, the only person who can limit you is yourself. Be bold, get out there, and do everything you can to make your business a success. Leave any doubts behind and genuinely believe in your abilities. Success will follow.
2. Don't Be Afraid to Outsource
A robust network of professional relationships is essential to upward mobility and future success. This is especially true when the time comes to scale up your business venture. Your natural inclination may be to try to do everything yourself. Or you may acknowledge you need more employees with a certain skill set, but it may not be in the budget to hire anyone else right now.
In this case, your best bet is to bring in freelancers. Whether it's redesigning your logo or upgrading your website, seek the help of an expert on the outside. Outsourcing is a terrific way to ensure the job gets done without the need to hire long-term staff.
3. Never Stop Learning
No matter how long you've been in business, you'll eventually encounter something you don't know.
Whether it's keeping up with the latest tax laws or revamping a marketing plan, successful women know when to ask for help. This is the perfect time to reach out to a trusted mentor who can help you navigate the next phase of your business growth.
You'll also feel empowered by keeping up with the latest trends in business and your industry. Sign up for business classes at a nearby college or attend a networking session with other local entrepreneurs.
4. Don't Forget to Delegate
A final mistake many women make, both personally and professionally, is taking too much on themselves.
The most successful women in business understand their physical, mental, and emotional limitations. They know how much they can realistically take on without disrupting their work-life balance.
If you want to emulate them, learn when to delegate certain tasks to capable employees. Not only does this speed up your business endeavors, but it also empowers the people you work with.
It's a win-win situation.
Successful Women in Business: Final Thoughts
Women in business have every reason to feel confident in themselves and their abilities. It's all about getting into the right mindset and surrounding yourself with successful, like-minded people.
Remember these four points the next time you're in the workplace, and your professional advancement will follow suit.
Interested in more professional advice for the workplace? Click here for our recent post about how to successfully pitch to investors.