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          Want to Start a Business?

          October 21, 2005

          Before embarking on a new enterprise, be sure to do your research.

           

          Start-Up Businesses

          Eighty percent of new businesses will fail or cease to exist beyond five to seven years.
          — U.S. Small Business Administration
          Reasons why businesses fail
          The number one reason small businesses fail is because the business owner didn’t take time to conduct a feasibility analysis, market and business plan.
          — U.S. Small Business Administration

           

          The top 10 reasons why small businesses fail are:

          • Bad planning, no planning
          • Inadequate capital and ignoring business and seasonal cycles
          • Lack of focus, lack of commitment
          • Lack of experience
          • Poor records and useless financial reports
          • Revenue problems – failure to identify a narrow customer base
          • Inadequate marketing to the target customers
          • Too much capital tied up in equipment and inventory
          • Too rigid or too lax an organization. Failure to delegate or conversely, ignoring need for leadership and direction
          • Location, location, location. Accessible to target market. Parking and expansion available?
          • Failure to communicate with accountant, banker or mentors until failure is certain

          — Counselors to America’s Small Business

           

           

          Mary and Heather, co-authors of MomsTown: The Guide to Getting it All describe the biggest mistakes they see moms making when starting their own business:

          • Starting out with no plan / no research
          • Unrealistic expectations — want glamour without the grunt work
          • Treating business as a hobby
          • Women are uncomfortable talking about money
          • Starting too big: Slow down and start small

          Women Entrepreneurs

           

          Women start businesses at two times the rate of men, but find it harder at the outset to grow their businesses and access venture capital.

           

          — Women’s Financial Network

           

          9.1 million women own businesses in the U.S.

           

          — ABC News, Mellody Hobson, personal finance expert, 2005

          • Women account for 55 percent of new startup businesses in the U.S.
          • Since 1987, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has doubled, employment has increased four-fold and their revenues have risen five-fold.
          • Women hold 13.6 percent of board seats at Fortune 500 companies. Only six percent of those businesses take in revenue of $1 million or more.
          • One of the most important factors in the success of women-owned businesses is mentoring.

          — Counselors to America’s Small Businesses

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