Do you want to build a company and have no idea where to start? Like you, millions of people want to have the right tools to begin their entrepreneurial journey. And honestly, you already have what it takes. The only thing left is to leave the fear behind!
In collaboration with QuickBooks, Gaby Natale, founder of AGANARmedia and Welcome All Beauty, shares with HOLA! USA how Latinas can turn all her ideas into a reality.
Say goodbye to being afraid of the word “Money”
Many relate the word “money” as something negative. This has led it to become some sort of taboo in our Hispanic culture. If you are successful and have financial prosperity, you are perceived as arrogant. Then if your family is going through a challenging financial situation, you will likely hide it due to embarrassment. It should not be like that with finances. Finances are an essential topic for the well-being of your family, your business, and even yourself. Awareness should be increased about this topic, be afraid no longer and speak up.
Know the value of obtaining credit for your business
In 2007, when I started my first business, I needed money to buy equipment and applied for a loan. Four banks rejected me! I didn‘t understand what I was doing wrong. I kept my finances in place, so much so that I had no outstanding debts. Crazy but true, that was the reason why no one approved a loan: I had no credit history. Luckily, the Small Business Administration (SBA) advised me, and I established my credit history. Eventually, a non-profit financial institution approved the loan I needed to start the operations.
I know that I am certainly not the only one who has had obstacles accessing credit. A recent study by QuickBooks confirmed this. According to the survey, it is a challenge for 61% of Latinx business owners to find ways to finance their business. As a result, 95% of Hispanic small entrepreneurs are forced to save before starting a business.
Use what makes you different to your advantage
In both business and life, as a female entrepreneur, I am convinced of one thing: what is unique for each should be perceived as a gift rather than a flaw. Our individual qualities are our gift to the world. And when it comes to doing business, that differentiator can also be part of your competitive advantage.
The same study revealed that 77% of Hispanic business owners face challenges in getting more customers. Use your skillset to differentiate yourself and discover the market segment you can launch into with an initial advantage. This will help you easily win new customers. Ask yourself: what are the communities that no one knows better than me? How can my business offer a service that other competitors cannot?
Maintain your accounting books up to date and in an orderly manner
Having my finances clear and up to date allowed me to define priorities and budgets through the years. It was also an invaluable tool during the pandemic. Having organized my financial documentation was vital for approving credits under the Payment Protection Program (PPP) that support small businesses during COVID-19.
Indeed, accounting is not the easiest of subjects. For 74% of Hispanic businesses, accounting tasks are challenging. Take advantage of the technological tools that exist and organize your numbers. I did it, which has allowed me to focus on what I am most passionate about in my business.
Progress is not linear- forgive yourself when things don‘t go as planned
I remember the day I had to put down a project that had cost me a third of my life savings. It was a mobile app that turned out not to be not viable to go into the market. The day we decided to terminate the project, we felt a great sense of defeat. But we also learned a great lesson: progress is not linear. It is usual for a business to have ups and downs. Therefore, it is essential to know the financial health of our business, how much comes in and how much goes out, to make strategic decisions and avoid unforeseen events.