For aspiring BIPOC entrepreneurs, breaking into the world of business can be tougher. You might be up against a lack of funding or support. But you can thrive as an entrepreneur, even if you don’t see much representation in your industry. In this guest post for our website, we explain how to get your business degree online, get LLC status for your business, and find a mentor who can relate to your experiences.
Explore Business Degree Options
While you don’t need a business degree to become an entrepreneur, completing a degree program can help you learn valuable management skills. You’ll also brush up on subjects like accounting, corporate communications, and more. You don’t need to commute to a campus and attend classes in person to earn this credential - instead, choose an accredited online degree program that will allow you to complete your coursework around your schedule.
Make a Concrete Plan
Trying to launch a business without a plan can leave you floundering - you might end up overspending, marketing to the wrong audience, or making decisions that take you further away from your goals. Instead of going in blind, craft a plan that includes an executive summary, market analysis, product and service descriptions, and a general budget, as well as financial projections.
Register as an LLC
For many small business owners, registering your company as an LLC is a wise decision due to the benefits it brings. LLC status can bring peace of mind with regard to your finances, as you’ll gain limited liability and tax breaks. To form an LLC, you can either work with a lawyer or use a formation service for a significantly lower cost.
If you have questions about the legal aspect of setting up your business or any other business law matters, you can set up a Legal Strategy Session with my office to ensure you are properly setting up your business.
What if you don’t have enough money saved to pay for all of your startup costs on your own - and you don’t feel comfortable putting those expenses on a credit card? It’s time to start looking for funding. Look into local grants and loans specifically dedicated to BIPOC entrepreneurs. You may be surprised by how much funding is available if you simply apply!
Find Space for Your Company
Depending on the products or services that you’ll be offering, you may be able to run your business from your home. But if you need a brick-and-mortar retail space, you’ll need to learn a bit about your local commercial real estate market so that you can find a great location for your company. To find the right space, UpFlip recommends looking for a location that your target demographic frequents. You should also consider the square footage, parking availability, and, of course, the pricing.
Once you’ve found the perfect place, add some beautiful signage to get your name out there and make it easy for people to find you. Click here to see options for metal letters and numbers that you can customize to meet your needs. There are many options, including brass, aluminum, bronze, and stainless steel.
Seek Mentorship or Coaching
It can be hard to find your way as an entrepreneur when it seems like none of the leaders in your field share your background. By seeking mentorship from other BIPOC innovators in your sector, you can learn from people who have overcome the challenges you’re facing.
But how can you find a mentor? Sparklight Business recommends looking into local, regional, and national organizations that are dedicated to supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs, as these groups often offer structured mentorship programs. You can also look for mentors online! By searching online, you’ll be able to get in touch with potential mentors from around the world.
Working with a business coach can be one of the best investments an entrepreneur can make. Not only does it give them access to expertise and perspective that otherwise would be hard to find, but it can also provide a sounding board for testing ideas and strategies.
Expand the BIPOC Business Community
Perhaps there are not many businesses in your area that are owned and operated by BIPOC. You can be the change you wish to see in your community! With these tips, you’ll be ready to choose a great business degree program, file for LLC status with the right formation service, and finance your startup costs.
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