Starting a business will be the greatest adventure every woman will ever take. It starts with the revelation that she believes enough in herself that she can do it! Day and night, she contemplates the perfect name that will become her dream for her future as an entrepreneur. Once decided, she is off to launch her business. The next step is finding the $$$$$$.
Do you remember your mother saying to you? “Money doesn’t grow on trees! Well, this statement is never truer that when you start a business.
Women often don’t take enough time to plan for the financial ramifications of starting and sustaining a new business.
First, don’t underestimate the amount of money it will take to start your company! It is important that you consider every aspect of what it will take to get your business concept off the business plan pages and into reality. These costs must include permit(s), equipment, supplies, product, marketing/pr materials and expenses, website, legal, accounting, insurance, rent (if necessary), utilities, telephone (cell, landline, fax – whatever necessary to do your business), staff, payroll expenses (if necessary), bank fees, car expenses, memberships, courses or necessary classes for yourself or staff, and most important of all – money for you to live off while you are working to launch your business.
As I review new business plans on a regular basis, I find that too many entrepreneurs underestimate the cost of the startup phase. Like mother, I must remind them – MONEY DOESN”T GROW ON TREES! If you don’t plan well in advance you will fail in business without ever getting a chance to prove if the idea is feasible. It is better to overestimate what the costs will be than to underestimate. The leftover cash can easily be reinvested into the company at a later date or be paid back to you to cover your initial loan—-Which brings me to my 2nd tip!
Second, the moment you begin to think about starting up a business separate your finances. Keep your personal account separate from your business account. As a business coach working with women entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses, I regularly hear stories from women who have been in business for years but have never separated their finances. When I ask them if they are making money they tell me ABSOLUTELY. But, if I ask them to breakdown their income and expenses they are unable to demonstrate where or what their profit is. I had one client who wanted to sell her business and told me she thought she was making more than $100,000 a year. I spent hours pouring over every available receipt, invoice, bill and more only to find out that the business was actually losing $25,000 per year. The money she was actually making was in her interior design work that she did as a side hobby to the business. You guessed it — she had nothing to sell in the business so she had to close the doors and sell off whatever was left of the inventory. If only she had separated her business and personal accounts.
She truly did believe that MONEY GROWS ON TREES — she seemed to always have some but none of it was coming from her business.
If you are ready to take the entrepreneurial adventure and don’t feel confident about your finances — please get help! Managing your finances at the startup of your business are critical to your endurance — managing your finances in the growth stage of your business will determine your survival.
Nyaradzo Viki-Mavindidze, Managing Consultant of Avodah Consultants, is a renowned Speaker, Training Consultant, Coach, Author, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist. A psychologist by profession, she is passionate about helping people improve and excel in their lives holistically, shifting personal paradigms and beliefs through training. Over the years, she has developed herself as a brand to reckon with in dissemination lasting solutions to performance deficiencies.
QueenMakers is an initiative she founded that pursues proactive strategies to develop and empower women and girls to take on leadership roles in their communities through; training, mentoring, capacity building and coaching. She believes that the full and active participation of women in economic activities and decision-making is a pre-requisite for positive change and development in Zimbabwe and in Africa.