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The Girl’s Guide To Starting Your Own Business
Candid Advice, Frank Talk, And True Stories For The Successful Entrepreneur
By Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio
Caitlin Friedman and Kimberly Yorio wrote The Girl’s Guide To Starting Your Own Business for female entrepreneurs looking for advice and encouragement.
Several years ago, when working as publicists for a New York publishing company, Friedman and Yorio realized that they were essentially running a little PR company—supervising employees and managing budgets—within their larger organization. But, they didn’t receive the financial rewards. So, they decided to start their own PR business.
Friedman and Yorio write: "…we visited bookstores and conduced on-line searches to find information that would help us navigate the terrifying waters of self-employment. What we found were books that ranged from the vaguely helpful to the downright unreadable. We found books on marketing and books on funding, books on partnerships and books on parachutes. We found a lot of books about how to sound like a man and think like a man. But who wants to do that? … What we never found was the book that said, ‘You can do it, girl. All you need is ____, ____, and ____!" This book will fill in the blanks. And there are a lot of blanks."
Friedman and Yorio do a good job filling in the blanks. They discuss the good things and the bad things about running your own company. Selecting an attorney and an accountant is covered. Hiring, firing, and managing employees are also discussed as is office technology. And, some down-home advice is given for home-based business entrepreneurs, such as don’t lie down on the couch or you’ll fall asleep. And, "The to-do list is your friend."
A short list of questions helps readers decide if they’d be good entrepreneurs. (Hint: the authors suggest: "If you are not a hard worker—don’t even think about starting your own business." Even part-time entrepreneurs work hard. They just don’t work as many hours.)
Friedman and Yorio also tell us that we’ll need to learn about taxes. They write:
If you enjoy doing payroll taxes—W-2s, W-4s, 940s, 941s, and more—they say knock yourself out. But, for the rest of us, if we have two employees or more, Friedman and Yorio suggest using a payroll service company to do payroll. (If you operate as a sole proprietor or a one-person LLC, and you have no other employees, you don’t need to worry about payroll taxes.)
Friedman and Yorio tell women entrepreneurs to find experienced business mentors. The authors write: "A great place to start is the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, at www.sba.gov/womeninbusiness/wnet.html (part of the Small Business Association). They manage the Women’s Network For Entrepreneurial Training (WNET), which matches successful women business owners with new entrepreneurs. Or try a local chapter of a women’s business organization, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners…They frequently offer workshops, lunches, and lectures, where you can interact with many potential mentors."
The book contains short question and answer blurbs ("Girl Talk") with successful women entrepreneurs who run a variety of companies, ranging from literary agencies and executive search firms to restaurants and freelance writing businesses.
Friedman and Yorio ask the manager at Springboard Center for Women and Enterprise ("…the largest venture capital forum that specifically focuses on women…") to provide "…the skinny on the big bucks."
The manager notes: "One of the keys to getting VC [Venture Capital] money is access and connections. Historically, VC money has gone to men. … It’s really all about connections and who you know. Men tend to have many more connections, through business school or industry, and can get their foot in the door easier."
Overall, female entrepreneurs or soon-to-be entrepreneurs will find easy-reading help and quality advice in The Girl’s Guide To Starting Your Own Business. You Go Girl!