This is a sponsored post by TD, however the views and opinions expressed represent my own and I only work with brands & products that I trust.
Did you know that October was Small Business Month? Well, a recent report from TD Economics reveals that 45% of small business enterprises are owned, or partially owned, by women. That’s a 20% increase since 2013. Oh heck yes!
I’d like to include myself in that category because I finally registered “Jessica Moorhouse” as my business name. Not only that, Jaclyn Phillips, who you may remember from our free Rich & Fit 21-Day Challenge at the start of this year, and I have also registered “Rich and Fit” as our business name because we’ve got some very exciting things in the works!
If you want to make sure you get the full scoop on our super secret but totally awesome upcoming project, sign up to my mailing list!
Want to Be a #GirlBoss? Listen Up!
Although I’ve technically had my side business since I started this blog back in 2011, it didn’t really feel like a serious business until I rebranded to JessicaMoorhouse.com this January.
That being said, I don’t think my rebrand would have made as big of an impact as it did without the 4 years of blogging (and 6 months of podcasting) experience to steer me in the right direction.
With that knowledge, I wanted to share some really useful tips, in partnership with TD, on how you, as a fellow woman entrepreneur (or future entrepreneur) can start and then thrive as a small business owner.
Set Specific Goals & Prioritize Them
The biggest thing I learned before launching my new brand was to have clear goals for my business. I didn’t want to just redesign my website and call it a day. I wanted it to be clear why I had a blog and podcast in the first place. It’s to help people! I am so incredibly passionate about teaching others about personal finance, I wanted to make sure that came across loud and clear.
Not only that, I obviously wanted to make sure I got paid for all the hard work I was putting into my brand. It costs me money to run my blog and a podcast, and to do other special projects like my Millennial Money Meetup. I didn’t want to continue spending the money I earned at my day job. I wanted to save that money for my life, and then reinvest any money I made off my brand into my business so I could help it grow.
To make that happen, I set the goal to have find a sponsor for every episode in season 3 of the Mo’ Money Podcast. I also set the goal to only produce sponsored content for brands that I believed in and would pay me my worth.
For a long time I refused to put any sponsored content on my blog. And that was fine for a while, but it didn’t make much business sense in the long wrong. That’s why you’ll see some sponsored content on my blog (like this one). But at the end of the day, even though it’s sponsored, I own the content. I write it. I have the final say of what goes into it. And if I don’t believe in it, or if I wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or family member, then I just won’t do it.
Write a Clear Business Plan
I’ll be honest, this is something that I’ve been keeping secret for a while. I had a few ideas when I first launched my new brand, but it’s in the second half of the year that I’ve really developed a clear business strategy.
I don’t want to reveal all of them quite yet (I’m a bit superstitious), but part of my business plan does include doing more public speaking, launching a course and continuing to monetize my blog, podcast and YouTube channel.
I’ve got all of these things written down, and have plans to transfer them to my office wall so I won’t ever lose sight of them. And after 2016 wraps up, I’ll take the new year as an opportunity to review and change course if necessary.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Advice
And I’m not talking about advice from friends or family. I’m talking about checking in with your small business advisor, accountant, business coach, or whoever you’ve got to help you create a successful structure for your business. You want to consistently improve your bottom line right? Then ask for advice, and when it’s good, take action with it!
Keep Your Business & Personal Finances Separate
This is so key, I’m telling you. After I launched my new brand, I set up a new account to hold all my business income and then designated one of my credit cards for just business expenses.
Not only did this help with me stop feeling guilty for spending my business income on business expenses so I could grow my business, but it also made things so much easier to track! Which brings me to the final tidbit of advice…
Maintain Your Books
That means tracking all of your business income and expenses ruthlessly and save all of your receipts. I regularly input my income and expenses into a spreadsheet so I can see clearly how well I’m doing and maybe what expenses I should cut out or invest more money into.
I also keep all of my receipts because I know a lot of them can come in handy during tax season. You wouldn’t believe how much money you can get back in your tax return if you save your receipts for tax deductions. I know I’m a nerd, but I love that part of taxes. It’s always so exciting seeing how much money you can get back!
If you’re a woman entrepreneur or solopreneur, what advice would you give to be a successful #GirlBoss?