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.
Are you a woman who works in tech or want to pursue a career in a STEM field? Wish you knew how to meet other passionate, like-minded women in your field, and grow your career? Well, technology conferences are a great way to network, learn more about your industry, and be inspired by other women killing it in your field.
4 Empowering Technology Conferences for Women
Want to go to a tech conference, but not sure which one or what options are even available? In this article, we’re covering 4 amazing women in tech events you should check out. So, you can learn from female entrepreneurs, connect with industry experts, and grow professionally.
Women in Tech Summit
The Women in Tech Summit (WITS) is one of the premier conferences for women working in technology fields. The conference covers a wide range of tech areas, including cybersecurity, project management, software, and even human resources. It’s also held across a variety of states, which makes it accessible for many women to attend.
WITS provides attendees with the chance to hear about new technology trends, learn new skills through hands-on workshops, and connect with other women working in tech. It can also help connect you with potential employers and investors.
Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
Hosted by the Anita Born Institute, this conference is one of the biggest gatherings of female technologists in the entire world. The conference celebrates the achievements women have made in tech while providing them with opportunities for collaboration and professional development. Like WITS, there are also recruiters from a wide range of companies, if you’re looking for a new role.
The location and speakers for this event changes with each year. Previously, speakers included professors of technology from universities like Harvard and Carnegie Mellon.
Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference
The next great conference on this list is the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference, an event for women in tech of every race, industry, and level. Held in June 2019 in San Francisco, this conference features women from many backgrounds, from Pixar Animation Studios to the Director of Product Creative Strategy at Netflix.
Beyond speakers, this conference has a variety of events. There are speed informational interviews, design thinking sessions, and networking mixers so you can chat with female leaders from a range of tech sectors.
Global Tech Women Voices Global Conference
With this conference, participants gather virtually and in-person across the globe to discuss the contributions of women in tech. Attendees participate in technical discussions and are able to network with women across the world. And what’s better is that this conference is streamed and recorded, so you can easily access it if you’re unable to attend.
This conference also focuses on finding solutions for the gender gap within technology, and the ways in which women of all ages, races, and backgrounds can be encouraged to participate.
Ready to Get Inspired?
With new technology conferences popping up every year, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t attend one. Not only will you learn new skills and hear from motivational leaders from your industry, but you’ll also be able to make valuable long-lasting connections.
Did you find the information in this article helpful? Check out our blog for advice on everything business!
Sometimes you hit a wall on what you can accomplish on your own. We are not finance experts, and we're not going to give you financial advice, but we can point you towards some resources. One of those resources may be a loan.
There are many types of small business loans out there, and you need to know which one works best for your business. This post will give you some options.
Keep reading to learn about four small business loans you can apply for so you can push your company forward.
1. Business Line of Credit
If you are looking for flexibility, then a line of credit may be right up your alley.
It works similar to a cash advance on a credit card. It's a revolving loan.
The maximum amount of money you can withdraw will be based on your credit limit. Instead of receiving a lump sum of money, you draw down the amount you need.
After you get your money, you pay the borrowed amount down based on the repayment terms of your credit agreement.
2. Term Loan
A term loan is the conventional business loan you would expect from lenders. They offer you an upfront lump sum, and you pay it off over time, with interest.
If you have good credit and need a lot of funding, term loans are an excellent choice. You can borrow a lot and get reasonable terms with good credit and collateral.
3. SBA Loan
SBA loans are similar to term loans, but there are several differences you should know.
Like a term loan, you can borrow a large amount of cash and get it in a lump sum. But unlike term loans, SBA loans are backed by the government.
If you can't get a term loan, then an SBA loan may be possible for you.
The terms you get for your loan will depend on how you need to use the money. You can expect more extended repayment periods too.
4. Angel Investors
If you are looking for more than just money, then an angel investor might be for you.
Angel investing doesn't work like traditional loans.
The first difference is that you are taking money from an individual who is providing their own funds. You aren't receiving money from banks or firms.
These individuals typically require equity in your company for the investment. For this, you get the money you need and an advisor who is invested in the success of your company.
Angel investors usually have experience in the industry they are investing in. The contacts and knowledge they have can help you make your company a success.
Types of Small Business Loans: Final Thoughts
There are more types of small business loans out there, so don't stop here. You need to make the right choice, so you get the loan you need to help move your business to the next level.
You don't have to stick with the typical small business loans. If you have an idea, then reach out to an angel investment firm to pitch them your idea.
Click here to see what we have to offer and see if your team is a good fit for us!
More Than "Rap or Go to the League": Top Hip-Hop Artists and Basketball Players Who Became Entrepreneurs
2 Chainz’ new album “Rap or Go to the League” references the stereotypical aspirations of young black men who grow up in underserved areas. But throughout the album, he pokes holes in those stereotypes. He shows alternate paths and preaches the value of independence.
Is 2 Chainz an astute cultural critic? He might be.
What we know for sure is that these are not the only two paths to success for minorities in America. Successful entrepreneurs show young people another way to freedom and security.
The ranks of these artists entrepreneurs are filled with top hip hop artists and basketball players. Even celebrities have an entrepreneurial spirit.
We found a handful of rappers and ball players who demonstrate excellence in their professions and business. It’s possible to do both and they offer a lot of inspiration. Read on to find your new hero.
Top Hip Hop Artists and Basketball Players with Entrepreneurial Careers
Most of these people you know. It would be hard to find famous athletes and entertainers who had slipped under your radar. However, the way they invested their money may surprise you.
See for yourself.
This one is too obvious. Biggie’s former running mate has worn many hats: NBA team owner (the New Jersey and the Brooklyn Nets), entertainment agency founder (Roc Nation), club owner (40/40 Club), and champagne maker (Armand de Brignac’s Ace of Spades).
His most impressive business partnership might be his marriage. Together, he and Beyonce have a net worth of more than one billion dollars.
Speaking of a billion dollars, Air Jordan was one of the first athletes to become a billionaire.
He was synonymous with sponsorships during his playing years, thanks to his partnerships with Nike, McDonald’s, Coke, and Gatorade. After he retired, he poured a lot of that money back into basketball, thanks to his investment as the chairman and majority stakeholder of the Charlotte Hornets.
Usher isn’t just an entrepreneur. He is a philanthropist. His New Look charity uses education and real-world experience to help young people achieve their dreams.
He also helped a very famous young man achieve his dreams through his record label Raymond Braun Media Group. That young man? Justin Bieber.
Helping to launch the career of Justin Bieber might be the shrewdest financial move anyone on this list will ever make.
This one is our favorite. The former Detroit Piston used some of the money he made during his 17 seasons in the NBA to go into restaurant franchising.
True to his nickname, “Mr. Big Shot,” Chauncey did not go small with his investment. He and another former basketball player, Junior Bridgeman, purchased 30 Wendy’s franchises.
Make That Money
Top hip hop artists and basketball players can represent distant dreams, but they still have the power to inspire us. We hope the way these celebrities branched out inspires you.
If you want even more entrepreneurial inspiration, check out our list of black businesses succeeding in 2019.
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.
This is it. Your future stands on a precipice, and the business you want to see thrive begins now. How you go about the Bootstrap Business method is the big question. We have the answer. With Bootstrap financing, you need guidance, and you need help. Let us guide you through the essentials below.
The Essential Bootstrap Core
One of the biggest things to remember when approaching this idea is the mindset and basic core of the bootstrap business.
Bootstrapping requires an intense drive. This venture is not a light-hearted affair. Don't forget why you do this in the first place. You strive for personal freedom and a tangible creation that at the end of the day is your own. Resources are small, but this only gives way to creative problem-solving. Use these struggles to further your skills.
If you can build a thriving business with two hours of sleep and barely enough money to make rent, then imagine what you can do when stability hits! Bootstraps demand the best people.
Talent is what will drive you, and you need people who won't quit in the face of hardship and know their skills like the back of their hand. Your treat your team with respect and drive their skills to the very best use, you can't help but go far.
The Perfect Pitch
Hard work and talent will get you there when you have the foundation, but you need to lay the groundwork first. You must know your niche. Know where you fit in the broader range of things and the strengths you have that got you there.
When an investor asks what you do and why should they care: Show them your market. Every customer counts and knowing them, their needs, and why you are the best at fulfilling them is key. Know your strengths. Showcase what you produce and what your talents bring to the table.
This is the foundation of the Perfect Pitch; know it, and your future opens up faster and stronger.
Bootstrap Financing the Future
What capital you can gain needs to be concise in its application. Going into heavy debt for bootstrapping is dangerous. Low risk is the key to any venture like this because even the most dedicated bootstrap can fail. Every dollar spent, every hour put to work, and every favor repaid must service one goal: to build and keep a customer base.
Investing works the same: they must build off of your needs and help you further what is already in place. Investment does not need to take the form of money. Investment can be in expertise and equipment, or even a broadened network.
If finding a single big investor doesn't seem feasible, crowdfunding is a powerful method to help get any dollar and cent you can muster.
Strapping it Together
Bootstrap financing is not an easy business. This is where the dedicated find their passions and drive paid off. It is easier to fail and even easier to underestimate. We have made it, and we want to push others to make it as well. These steps are only the beginning, and talking about success is not the same as creating it.
Find your financing. Discover your talent. Drive success. If you want in, if you want to be a part of something created from your hard work, then let us help you find it.
While the number of female-owned businesses rose 58% from 2007 to 2017, the number of black women entrepreneurs rose by a stunning 164%.
Even though black women are gaining momentum in the business sphere, they still face several complications and challenges along the way.
Let's get into the challenges (and the solutions) for women of color.
Lack of Representation
For a long time, women entrepreneurs were the lone breed in business meetings. Today, while women have made strides in the boardroom, there is still has a long way for the representation of African American women in positions of leadership.
This situation can create inherent biases and discrimination within the workforce. Black women repeatedly report incidents of needing to prove their qualifications, worth, and ambition to potential colleagues and customers.
This is why networking and connecting with other women of power is so important. It's essential that you feel supported in your business endeavors.
Lack of Mentorship
Mentorship has a longstanding role in the success of early entrepreneurship. Strong mentorship provides an invaluable opportunity to learn from someone who has experienced similar obstacles and hurdles in their professional path.
With that said, there tends to be a lack of mentorship opportunities for black women entrepreneurs who understand the unique challenges associated with being both female and a person of color.
To find a mentor, you may have to put in the legwork. This means attending volunteer events, scoping out various university scenes, and checking with your local chamber of commerce.
Lack of Monetary Funding or Capital
Women, in general, tend to receive smaller loans across the board- regardless of the product or service.
Minority women often face even greater hardships, and the chance to qualify for traditional sources of funding may be incredibly limited.
Fortunately, there are several small business grant opportunities and angel investors eager to help and support women and minorities fund their business dreams. Crowdfunding also remains a popular option for individuals who want to attract a large pool of investors very quickly.
Lack of Work-Life Balance
While both men and women face work-life balance struggles, women tend to feel even more pressure due to collective societal and cultural norms. Juggling family life, social relationships, work, and daily tasks and errands can feel like a never-ending mission.
With that said, creating a work-life balance is essential. Black women entrepreneurs need to be comfortable delegating and outsourcing tasks when possible. You must know how to set limits and boundaries with your time and with other people.
Finally, you can't expect the balance to be perfect! There is no ideal way to manage all the elements of your life. If you strive for 'good enough,' you'll be well on your way towards positive mental health.
Final Thoughts On The Challenges Black Women Entrepreneurs Face
Starting a business is never easy. It requires dedication, persistence, and timeless grit. Black women entrepreneurs face those struggles- in addition to potential racism, discrimination, and financial hardships.
With that said, times are changing, and opportunities are emerging. As business continues to evolve, we anticipate that the societal approach on who is running these businesses will, too.
There are many different ways to finance your business: personal savings, business loans, venture capital, and now equity crowdfunding.
Equity crowdfunding is when you offer a portion of your company to people over the internet. They give you money, and in return, you give them company securities.
There are advantages and disadvantages to this system. Let's go over them.
Pros of Equity Crowdfunding
One of the most significant advantages is that you and your team can raise cash quickly. This benefit is especially valuable for entrepreneurs that are unable to obtain capital in any of the other standard ways.
Another benefit is that it involves the public. If you have a great consumer idea, crowdfunding is the way to go.
It displays your company and product in raw view for the public and gives them the opportunity to share it across social channels. Many businesses have succeeded by using equity crowdfunding as an advertising platform.
Not only that but when people invest in your startup, they'll want to protect their investment. This means more recommendations to friends, more social media content, and more brand ambassadors.
Lastly, equity crowdfunding gives you extra freedom to make decisions. Unlike some financing options, you won't lose control of the direction of the company. This means you are free to take your business to exactly where you want it to be.
Disadvantages of Crowdfunding
Unfortunately, there are some serious disadvantages of crowdfunding that need to be considered. First, crowdfunding is typically done on an online platform.
Many times these platforms charge fees or take a percentage of your earnings. In comparison when you pitch an investor, you leave with all of the money, no hidden fees. Here's how to rock your pitch with an angel investor.
Another disadvantage to equity crowdfunding is that you lose the opportunity to receive great a great mentor and partner. Investors want your business to succeed just as much as you do.
Therefore, if you partner with a knowledgeable and experienced business person, you'll receive a lot of their wisdom for free. This can be an incredible asset to your business.
Learn how you can talk to our top advisors and entrepreneurs.
Recognizing the Pros and Cons of Crowdfunding
Equity crowdfunding raised over $5 billion for startups in 2013, and that number continues to grow. There are many pros and cons of crowdfunding, so the decision ultimately falls on your shoulders. However, it's important to remember that there is no one right answer.
Do you want more freedom in your decisions, or do you want a teammate with already established business skills? Whatever you choose, your business will have great potential.
We can't wait to see you take your company to new heights!
Have any questions? Contact us! One of our seasoned professionals will get back to you quickly.