Women Entrepreneurs: How to Sustain Your Balancing Act
Female Business Owners Can Find Success by Focusing Their Attention on Key Areas Kathy Longo, CFP®, CAP®, CDFA Monday, 24 August 2020
Being a female entrepreneur is rife with challenges. We still live in a world where women business owners are defying social expectations, struggling to be taken seriously, and confronting the difficult balance between business life and personal life. It’s no wonder so many female entrepreneurs feel like they’re constantly hustling and still not reaching their goals while confronting the challenge to access funding as a woman-owned business, building a professional network, and overcoming the fear of failure.
If you love what you do – and you’re good at it – but you feel overwhelmed with all that’s required of you, you’re not alone. Read on for three tips designed to help you achieve more balance while creating success in your business.
Tip #1: Learn How to Value Your Time
If your business venture has you feeling overworked and underpaid, you’re probably not valuing your own time correctly. This is a common issue for entrepreneurs because they often focus on understanding things like up-front material costs but fail to accurately reflect the value they add. Since many women have the bad habit of undervaluing themselves in general, it’s even more crucial for female business owners to get this right. The next time you begin a project, track every bit of time you spend on it from start to finish, then do the math. For instance, if you produce consumer goods, find out what it actually costs to produce your goods and see what you’re netting per hour. If it turns out you’re in the $5-$10 dollar range, it’s time to stop setting your prices based on your emotions – and, mostly, on your concerns about unworthiness – and begin charging a more appropriate amount for your product.
Tip #2: Think About Your Overhead
It’s important to compensate yourself fairly for your time, but you also need to consider other expenses inherent in your business. Overhead expenses like income tax and liability insurance should be top of mind, but this could also mean something like licensing if you’re offering professional services. If you’re still building your business and you’re operating out of a spare bedroom or your garage, it can be easy to think of your business as more of a hobby – and this is dangerous. If you aren’t accounting for all your overhead costs, they’ll eat away at your profits and slow your growth.
Tip #3: Manage Your Fluctuating Cash Flow
Having a budget and spending plan is crucial to your success in both business and personal finances. Unfortunately, most budgeting tools are one-size-fits-all and assume you’re working with a steady income each month. For most entrepreneurs, however, it’s not as simple as divvying up a predictable amount between saving, spending, and investing. So, the trick is to create a spending plan that is based on what you know you need, rather than on what will come in. Add up your monthly costs, your own salary, and the amount you want to save for retirement, then work backwards to determine how many customers or clients you’ll need (or how many products you’ll need to sell) each month. This will also let you determine how much you can afford to spend from each sale or client engagement, while still keeping your finances in the black and avoiding every entrepreneur’s biggest fear of running out of money.
Make Smart Changes to Sustain Your Business
Running a business is hard, even on good days. Turning your passion into a profit doesn’t come easy, and there are special challenges for women entrepreneurs. Still, it’s possible to strike the right balance and find the success you’ve been looking for. When you learn to value your own time, account for all your expenses, and master your fluctuating cash flow, you can sustain – and build – the business you love.
About the Author
Kathy Longo brings over 25 years of expertise and experience to Flourish Wealth Management. Kathy is wholly dedicated to improving the life of each client and finds joy in making complex matters simple and easy to understand. She excels at asking the right questions, uncovering new possibilities and implementing the most advantageous strategies for success. Playing such a pivotal role in her clients’ lives remains an honor and a privilege. After earning a degree in Financial Planning and Counseling from Purdue University, she began her career at a small firm in Palatine, Illinois where she worked directly with clients while learning to build a viable, client-centric business. Over the years, she gained extensive knowledge and wisdom working as a wealth manager, financial planner, firm manager and business owner at notable, various sized companies in both Chicago and Minneapolis.