The Girl's Guide To Starting Your Own Business

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-10
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publications
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Geared toward the unique challenges faced by self-employed businesswomen, The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business offers solutions and advice for handling a range of issues, including how to write a business plan, how to secure funding, and how to hire (and fire) employees. Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio share practical information drawn from their own extensive experience in the public relations, marketing, and consulting industries. Their concise and engaging advice is explained through entertaining tips, lists, and quizzes that speak directly to women who are dreaming of starting, or have already started, their own businesses.

Author Biography

Caitlin Friedman started her own business in 1999 and hasn't looked back. A native of Amherst, Massachusetts, she has been a public relations and marketing expert for more than ten years. Currently, she divides her time between New York City and Chatham, New York Kimberly Yorio went out on her own in 1998 after eight years working for other companies, big and small. Her expertise publicizing cookbooks, food television shows, and culinary personalities led to the successful partnership with Caitlin Friedman and the creation of YC Media in 2000. She lives with her husband and son in Weehawken, New Jersey

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
"Are You the Girl to Run the Show?"p. 3
What Business Is Right for You?: And the Baby Steps to Make It Happenp. 28
The Scary Stuff: Legalities, Licenses, Permits, Financials, and Fundingp. 49
Your Business Plan: Why You Should Spend Your Precious Time Writing Onep. 80
Sell It, Sister!: Getting Your Name and Product "Out There"p. 97
Being a Boss Sucks: But It Is Essential, and Often Satisfyingp. 131
Acting Like an Adult: Finding Your Voice and Professional Stylep. 161
The Girl's Guide to Surviving: Today's Technologyp. 183
A Girl's Gotta Write: Proposals, Presentations, and Other Business Writingp. 202
It Couldn't Hurt: Good Business Advice Your Grandmother Would Have Given You (and Maybe Did)p. 223
Helpful Web Sites for Girls Going into Businessp. 245
Indexp. 247
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.


The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business
Candid Advice, Frank Talk, and True Stories for the Successful Entrepreneur

Chapter One

"Are You the Girl to Run the Show?"

Stand up and walk to the nearest mirror. Take a long, hard lookat the woman you see there. Now ask yourself, "Can I look tothis woman for all the support, security, and leadership I need to survive?"Then ask that person in the mirror, "Do you want to be responsiblefor all the support, security, and leadership that I, the person holdingthe book, need?"

This chapter will help you evaluate whether you have what it takesto build your own business. Just as important, it will help you determinewhether you really want to. You may fantasize about greeting customersin your own store or selling your hand-knit sweaters over the Internet,but after some exploration, you might discover that when it comes to thedemands of minding a store, you would actually prefer to work a nine-to-fiveday and let someone else deal with the headaches of employees,leases, taxes, and contracts. Then again, you might decide that you areready to take the leap.

So, let's take that long, hard look in the mirror, shall we?

The Good, Bad, and UnexpectedDelights of Running the Show

We should point out at the start that nothing in business (like life) staysthe same. Some days are good, some days are bad, and some unexpectedly profitable, but tomorrow will always be different. While the basicjoys of running the show stay the same, there are some days when youjust need to remind yourself why you decided to start your own business.

The Good: What We Like About Running the Show

We think there are more good than bad things about starting a business.Adrienne Arieff, founder of Arieff Communications, a public relationsbusiness in San Francisco specializing in hotels and beauty products,offers this benefit to consider: "The good thing about running your ownbusiness is that the final decision is always yours to make."

These are some other benefits to running the show.

You are never bored. Those days of sitting at your desk, staringout the window fantasizing about running off with Russell Crowe areover. You now have work to do and the motivation to do it.

You will constantly be challenged. Let's say that you havea slow day (rare, we hope) and thoughts of Russell Crowe creep in;within the next minute or so, you will have an opportunity to create, execute,and manage something. It could be anything from working on anew window display to being interviewed about your business for anarticle in the local newspaper.

Your time is your own. It now benefits you, not someone else, towork harder and longer if need be. But, if you have a doctor's appointmentand are running a little late, that's fine, because now you have themost understanding boss in the world ... YOU.

You have the opportunity to create an ideal workenvironment. You can now create the work environment you havealways been looking for in past jobs. Let's say you work best listening toa little Grateful Dead; you can do it, if you don't run a children's clothing store. Or, you prefer to start your day late and work until the wee hours.You can do it, if your business lends itself to those hours. Your companycan be structured in ways that work best for you.

You don't have to ever again beg for a promotion or araise from a boss. Okay, so you might have to ask for a feeincrease from a client, but that is easier than begging for a salary bumpfrom a supervisor who was passed out drunk at last year's holiday party.Need more money? With some careful planning and hard work, you canmake it happen.

You can make your work fit your life. For too long you havebeen squeezing in dates, doctor appointments, birthday celebrations,and your child's school play around your workday. Now you have theopportunity to create a career that fits your life. This isn't to say that youwill work less (you will most likely be working more), but the timing of itis now up to you, and if getting to your child's play means locking up theoffice for an hour or two, so be it.

You don't have a boss. We can't stress enough how GOOD thisis. It is fantastic not to have anyone to answer to other than yourself(and sometimes investors, but we will get to that later). You now callthe shots, set the agenda, make the schedule, hire and fire, reap thebenefits and the profits of a successful endeavor. Nothing is betterthan that.

The Bad: What We Don't Like About Running the Show

It is important to remember that BAD should be temporary. If most ofyour day is spent worrying, stressing, obsessing, crying, or any ing's otherthan smiling and laughing, then think about doing something else. Doexpect some bad days, weeks, and months. As Adrienne Arieff says, "Thefragility of not knowing if the clients will be around month-to-month istough."

You will feel out of sync with the rest of the world.Your work life is now completely unique to you. This will make you feelout of sync with the rest of the working world. While everyone you knowworks a nine-to-five job, has two weeks of vacation a year, and has a corporate401(k) plan, you most likely won't. Occasionally this is a lonelyfeeling. If you experience this too often, we suggest that you join an organizationfor entrepreneurs; the National Association of Women BusinessOwners is a great place to start. Other entrepreneurs are the onlyones who can relate to the challenges facing you on a daily basis ...

The Girl's Guide to Starting Your Own Business
Candid Advice, Frank Talk, and True Stories for the Successful Entrepreneur
. Copyright © by Caitlin Friedman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Excerpted from Girls Guide to Starting You Own Business: Candid Advice, Frank Talk, and True Stories for the Successful Entrepreneur by Caitlin Friedman, Kimberly Yorio
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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