WOMEN OWNED BUSINESSES

© by Sally Jones; all rights reserved

Women owned businesses. They want to own their own business and move from their jobs and be self-employed. The main reasons for this are control and flexibility, opportunity, and independence.



The tea industry lends itself to women owned businesses. There are many opportunities in the tea industry for woman to own their own business and still have control and flexibility. Women want to gain control of their time, their futures, and their finances.

Since women are generally the caregivers they need flexibility over their varied responsibilities. Owning their own business gives then this flexibility over their hours and schedules even though it often requires longer work hours.

Opportunities in the tea industry include tea party catering, in-home parties, retailing tea and tea accouterments from your home, web sites, and tea lectures and education. Women can create their business from home via fax and computers and ship products directly to their customers.

Owning your own business gives a woman independence. With all the down-sizing going on in corporate America, the tea industry lends itself to women who want to turn to self-employment. A woman can run a business as she sees fit and can control the course the business will run. There is no "glass ceiling" and talented women can become entrepreneurs.

One of the biggest challenges for women to own her own tea business is financing. The National Women's Business Council found that the most significant barrier to the success of woman-owned firms is the lack of capital. Having a service oriented tea business (tea party catering, etc.) does not require a huge amount of capital.

Women usually have little to offer as collateral to a bank for a loan. Many have limited credit history because they have never had credit in their name only. Many have little financial skills.

Each of these can be overcome. A woman needs to establish a record in dealing with money. Experience can be gained by handling the family's household budget. Keeping books for PTA or other school related organization, or for a church, or any other organization will give a woman experience in handling money.

Another step is to establish a credit history. Take out a small loan and pay it back with regular payments. Get a credit card in your own name, either from a bank or a retail store. Use it and pay it on a regular basis. Also, make sure to understand your credit rights. If denied credit, a woman has the right to a written reason why she was denied credit.

Find the right bank. There are many woman-friendly banks that will lend money to women to start a business. If the first one turns you down, don't get discouraged, go to another one.

Before going to a bank you need to understand a few requirements. Your need to provide necessary collateral. In other words what assets do you have that you are willing to put up as security for your loan? This could include a second mortgage on your home or stocks and bonds or life insurance policy.

You may have to find someone to co-sign your loan. This may not be to your liking but look at it as a meaningful to get you business started. Ask the bank for a loan application package so you know what you need to provide to receive your loan and fully complete all the necessary requirements.

To be successful you need motivation, sound business practices, organization, flexibility, problem solving ability, communication skills, ability to work toward goals, and, above all, a sense of humor. You also need to stay balanced. Don't over commit yourself. Know what time you have to devote to your business, your family, and any other area of your life. Remember, you don't have to do everything perfectly--the super mom syndrome.

Have a support network. There are many organizations in communities that you can belong to that will give you the moral and professional support you will need along the way. They will have good suggestions too. This is called networking and should not be neglected. Support from peers further along the line are invaluable.

Starting your own tea business is hard work, but well worth the effort.

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