Business Plans for Women Owners
It’s 2012 and the ‘Government Stimulated’ economic recovery is still a hard thing for most small businesses and early stage companies to find. One surviving bastion of hope, in these tumultuous times, is special consideration programs for, women, minority and ex-military owned businesses. In almost every city in the US, there are Programs that offer grants, discounted rents and less stringent loan criteria for the above mentioned groups.
There are also a plethora of free support groups from the SBA, Score, local Economic Development organizations and private non-profits. This all points to the first rule of a successful business, seize every opportunity that will give you an advantage.
It all sounds great; but I consistently hear the same complaint from women who have utilized these services. They have spent over a year going to meetings, seminars and classes but, somehow their business still has not opened. How could this be?
The answer lies in the fact that many of these organizations, although well meaning, offer little in real world support. Take a 5 week, free business plan course for example. It’s all well and good but the information they give you is rather pedestrian. Ten minutes on the internet will generate the same basic, ‘What should be in a business plan’.
There are still great opportunities to be had, I just suggest that you screen these groups with specific questions. If they have a plan writing course, will a professional help you to write 2 years of cash flow projections? If not you are wasting your time.
If the speak about access to preferential loans or grants, will they introduce you to these opportunities right away or do you have to show up for six month and become part of the group? Many of these organizations thrive on the size of their memberships more that the result they generate. The fact that Jenny got a $30,000 grant and a $25,000 loan in 2002 does not help you out.
With some diligent searching, you can still find the real thing. The groups that supply professional help and access to cash, which is what every entrepreneur wants !