Business Ideas for Women

There are constant demands on your time as a woman - whether you have kids or not, the mix of a job, household chores and all the other responsibilities that creep into your day could lead you to think you don’t have time to run a business.

Although starting a new business or running a business on the side can take a fair amount of time and effort, the rewards could be more than worth it.

Of course, as a woman, you know the trick is to have a business that integrates with your life, while still giving you the time you need to meet your commitments. There are many types of businesses a female entrepreneur can start to test the waters — and if you like one of them, you can grow it into providing a substantial part- or full-time income.

We want to help you get your business off the ground.

Since 2004, we’ve helped over 500,000 people start exciting businesses and bring their ideas to life. We’ll give you the support, guidance and advice you need to create a woman-owned business and make it into a success.

Here is our simple guide to finding the right ideas, researching and creating a successful business. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or an independent business woman, this guide is here to help you.

Why You Should Start a New Woman-Owned Business

Some of the best inspiration comes from learning about the successes of other women who have started businesses. Here are some statistics about how successful you could be:

12M

Businesses in the U.S. are owned by women

$2.5T

Generated sales a year of women entrepreneurs as majority or joint business owners

$1M

Sales a year or more by nearly one in 20 firms owned by women

40
%
Of privately - held businesses are owned by women

Over the last 10 years, the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 45 percent (five times faster than the national average)

Nearly two-thirds of female entrepreneurs say their business is their main source of income

Women are more likely to start service businesses, especially around healthcare and education

This is why businesses started by female entrepreneurs are so exciting - so how can you be part of that success? We're here to help you figure that out.

Small Business Grants for Women

Before we get into business ideas for moms and other women, we want to point out some funding options available to you. Around a quarter of women seek funding for their business, and around a third of those are successful in obtaining it.

When you’re applying for funding, remember:

1

Follow the application process to the letter, otherwise your application will be rejected

2

Show the real benefits of your business in terms of local improvement, social good, generating revenue, employing others.

3

Show that you have a strong business plan, you’ve completed your research and you know your market

Here are some places you can apply for funding for your woman-owned business:

Note that the organizations listed provide grants specifically for women. There are many other grants available to both male and female business founders.

The Concerns of Female Founders - Moms and Women Entrepreneurs

The pressures on women are unique, especially if you’re a mom. When you’re deciding on the right business idea, it’s important to take these areas into account.

A business that fits with your schedule

If you have kids, you’ll want a business you can organize around childcare needs, school runs and the endless chores that children create.

A business that doesn’t cost much to start up

You don’t want too much risk in your business, so that means limiting both up-front and ongoing costs as much as possible.

A business that gives you freedom

Independent female entrepreneurs want to retain and expand on their freedom, which is why it can be useful to run a business that gives you independence.

A business that gives you flexibility

Even if you don’t have a set schedule, flexibility is vital, so choose a business that supports it.

A business that fits around caregiving needs

Many women have care commitments to elders and other loved ones, so ideally you'll want a business that integrates with those needs as well.

Finally, you may want a business that helps you stay active in your industry, keeping you up-to-date with the latest skills and thinking.

Business Ideas for Women and Moms

Whether you’re looking for a home-based business idea perfect for moms, a small business idea, or a unique startup, there are plenty of ideas out there. Let’s get into some good ideas for your woman-owned business.

1

Start Blogging and Writing

You can complete blogging and writing at your own pace. These businesses are low-effort to start and will easily fit around your schedule. You can write when you have time wherever you are, and monetize your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing or selling products you’ve created yourself.

2

Provide Freelance Services Through a Marketplace

The road to being a full-time freelancer can be difficult but rewarding. If you have a creative skill you can sell, you can use a freelance marketplace like Upwork, Fiverr and People Per Hour. On these sites, you can pick up as much work as you want, and setting up a profile will allow you to list your services and attract potential clients.

3

Sell Products Via a Marketplace

If you’d rather sell products than services, a third-party marketplace like Amazon or eBay could be ideal. You’ll need to find the right niche, understand profit margins and ship products, but this can be a great way to get started with ecommerce and online retail.

4

Create and Sell Products

If you have artistic talent, you can even sell products that you make yourself. You can do this through a marketplace like Etsy, or create your own store to sell art, prints and other creations. Websites like CafePress and Zazzle will even put your designs onto items and take care of everything else for you.

5

Provide Services From Home

Home-based businesses aren’t just about selling products and skills, you can also provide other services. For example, you might have skills as an instructor, coach, consultant, complementary therapist or counselor.

6

Offer Tutoring and Coaching

If you’ve got some skill at helping others, tutoring and coaching are in demand. You’ll need to demonstrate some experience and expertise in your topic, but it’s another low-cost business to start - all you really need is yourself.

7

Provide Childcare Services

With the right certifications, you can offer childcare, nursery or babysitting services from your home.

8

Provide Professional Services From Home

If you have professional qualifications, they can be a great basis for a home-based business as well. Perhaps you're a business coach, bookkeeper or accountant who can take client appointments around your own schedule.

Validating Your Woman-Owned Business Idea

These areas are just starting points — there are infinite business ideas you can start as a female owner. Once you’ve identified the area you’d like to go into, you need to validate your business idea.

First, you will need the right skill set.

For example, if you’re going into marketplace-based freelancing, do you have a marketable skill you can sell? If you want to be an ecommerce entrepreneur, do you understand all about product marketing, profit margins, working with suppliers and getting customers?

Remember that it’s okay to say “no” to your first, second or third business ideas. Very few entrepreneurs get it right the first time — male or female.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

Identify your business’ unique selling points (USPs)

Whether you’re competing on features, price, quality, speed or something else, your USPs will set you apart from competitors and encourage customers to come to you.

Take stock of your concerns

Read through the concerns we covered above and think about ideas to reduce those issues.

Look at who your competitors are in the space

Having competitors is a good thing as it shows there’s a market, but if there are too many, you’re likely to struggle without a really good unique selling point.

Understand your market

Clearly identify exactly who your customers are likely to be, where they hang out and how you’re going to reach them. This will be essential to your marketing, communications, sales and customer support.

Talk to clients

Speak with potential customers to understand what they want from your products and services, and validate this by asking if they would commit to spending real money for it.

Get involved with business communities and discussion groups

One of the great things about women-owned businesses is that there are plenty of great communities and discussion groups. Get involved with them and learn the ins and outs of your chosen market before committing.

Your Woman-Owned Business Needs a Plan

Business plans can be easily overlooked, especially if you think you're 'just' starting a side gig. But having one will give you an advantage in setting up your business, running it and getting funding. Business plans do vary slightly, but they should all cover the following areas:

1

An executive summary with the most important points from your business plan

2

Your goals and what you hope to achieve with your business

3

A description of your woman-owned business, background information and context

4

A market analysis and likely demand

5

An overview of how your business is structured

6

Your online business model

7

How you will market and sell your offerings

8

Financial projections, revenue and profitability

9

Appendices

We’ve got the perfect guide to writing your business plan.

Choose the Right Business Structure and Register Your Business

Now that you have all the background information for your woman-owned business, it’s time to make it into a reality. That starts by choosing the right structure or “legal entity” for your business. In the U.S., there are five main business structures:

Sole Proprietorship

This is the "default" business structure and is what your business will be if you decide not to create a more formal structure. We don't recommend this type of business as it doesn't give you the legal protections you need.

Partnership Company or LLC

This is a type of business that is formed when two or more people work together without creating a more formal business entity. Like a sole proprietorship, it may not provide all the protections your business may need.

Limited Liability Company or LLC

The most common type of business entity, an LLC is fast, simple and inexpensive to set up and maintain. It protects your personal finances and assets and is a great way to start your woman-owned business.

S Corporation

This is a more complex type of business and isn't generally recommended for smaller organization.

C Corporation

These are the largest and most complex types of businesses and are far more than the average entrepreneur or business owner will need.

For more information on the advantages and disadvantages of different types of businesses, please see our in-depth guide. If you’ve still got questions, we’ve answered them to help you choose the right business structure for your women business.

In most cases, our recommendation would be to create an LLC. We’ve got a complete guide to everything you need to do, — and we can even set up your LLC for you

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The Complete "Start Your Business" Checklist

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Rules, Regulations and Taxes for Your Woman-Owned Business

Whether your business is woman-owned or not, almost no company can escape real-world licenses, permits and regulations. You will need to explore local, state and federal licenses and permits, and we can also help out with researching your business licensing needs.

Finances

In most cases, you will want to keep your personal and business finances separate. We recommend a business bank account for your women business. You might also want to consider a business credit card. Additionally, you will also need to keep careful bookkeeping records and file business and personal taxes.

Taxes

Taxes are a fact of life if you’re in business, and there are various ways you will need to file and pay them. This can include self-employment tax, state income tax and federal income tax. Depending on where and how you’re selling products and services, you may also be liable for sales and use tax.

As a rule of thumb, we recommend holding back around a third of your earnings to pay your taxes. We can also prepare and file your tax returns for you.

Maintaining Your Business

There are certain forms and legalities you need to follow to keep your business in good standing.

1

File an Annual Report

Most states require all businesses to file a report once a year. This report has details of any major changes to who owns a business and other major impacts on a business’ legal status. We can file your Annual Report on your behalf.

Annual Report
2

Pay estimated taxes

You will be expected to pay estimated taxes on what you plan to earn in the current business year. Typically, you will need to pay estimated taxes in April, June, September and January (of the following year).

3

Renew Business Permits and Licenses

Your business will need to renew your licenses, permits and other regulations every year.

4

File your taxes

You will need to file your taxes once a year.

5

Pay payroll and sales taxes

If applicable, you will need to make payroll and sales tax payments on a regular basis.

6

File your taxes

You will need to work with your accountant to prepare all the taxes you need to pay.

Useful Online Tools for Female Entrepreneurs

Here are some really great online tools for managing your woman-owned business. They will reduce the time you spend on administration, help you to collaborate with others and free up your time to grow and manage your new venture.

Conclusion

When you’re ready to embark on your new entrepreneurial career, be sure to take a look at our Start a Business Checklist to get your business going in the best possible way. We’re confident you can find the perfect business to fit in with your lifestyle. The speed of growth for woman-owned businesses is necessary and inspiring. We hope you’ve found this guide useful, and that it sets you on the path to building the next great business as a female entrepreneur!

Why delay? Start your Business with us, today