By Michelby Coco Whitehead

January is all about new beginnings and executing ideas. For many women, that means finally saying bye-bye to the 9 to 5 and starting their own business. The National Women’s Business Council reports that there are over 1,500,000 black-owned female businesses in the United States. While sisters have always been capable of doing it for themselves, every new business owner will discover entrepreneurship is no walk in the park. Here are seven things to consider before you fire your boss!

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1. Only offer what you excel at. 
This sounds like a no-brainer, but it really is something that you must be certain about. For example, potential customers will come to you looking for services that you don’t necessarily offer, but could offer. Let’s say you are a hairstylist that specializes in natural hair, but a client wants you to do a lace front installation. If that’s not your lane, don’t go there. Be confident enough to know that giving a referral will not cause you to lose out on anything.

2. Your ideal client. 
You cannot service everyone who has a need for what you offer. You’re probably thinking ‘Huh? That doesn’t make sense.' However, every bride is not interested in spending $10,000 on wedding decor. Some brides prefer to be frugal, and that’s okay. So, if you want to sell high-end services, target customers with higher earning potential. In turn, this will allow you to market your brand to the right clients for you.

3. Prepare to go virtual. 
The marketplace is so much bigger than your hometown, so brush up on your computer skills! You can reach more potential customers by offering products and services virtually. Many entrepreneurs are also presenting workshops and empowerment conferences online.

4. Pick a payment system. 
In 2018, we do not have time to chase clients down for payments owed! There are many systems and mobile apps for business. Test a few out to see what you’re comfortable using. Dosh, is the latest app and it has incentives for business owners to make money through referrals until January 21, 2018.

5. You don’t need to hire a business coach immediately.
 
Listen, I know social media is flooded with amazing business gurus who have incredible platforms, but take your time when choosing a coach. If you have your eye on a coach, take advantage of his or her Facebook group first. This will allow you to see how knowledgeable and sincere that person is.

6. Network your butt off. 
Your network increases your net worth! Attend events and mixers where you live as well as in cities you want to start building your presence. Opportunities will not fall into your lap on a regular basis; they must be created.

7. Celebrate your accomplishments. 
Celebrating the little victories in your entrepreneur journey will motivate you to stick to what you started, even when business isn’t booming!

Do you have any business tips to share?

A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator 

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