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The Changing Face of Entrepreneurship: 3 Ways to Achieve Success

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Starting and growing a business requires equal amounts of skill, determination, and motivation. As it turns out, the group with the most motivation to become entrepreneurs this year, and in the years ahead, might be minorities.

People of color in the U.S. have a desire to start their own businesses at a rate of 20 percent higher than the rest of the population, according to the results of "The Changing Face of American Entrepreneurship," a survey by Northwestern Mutual. Conducted in 2018, the survey polled 8,000 people from across the U.S. from different backgrounds, races, and genders.

Results also showed that minorities are probable than others to have a side hustle that they want to turn into their own business. "More likely to launch a side hustle and work with a financial advisor, minorities lay their foundation for a business sooner than their Caucasian counterparts," says Carrie Neumann, Northwestern Mutual's Senior Director of Multicultural Market Strategy. "We will continue to see the number of minority-owned companies rise across the country."

Northwestern Mutual aims to serve as a resource for all entrepreneurs, helping to create financial goals, plan for the future, and protect the earnings that they have worked hard to generate. We spoke with Anitra Blue-Francis, a Northwestern Mutual financial advisor, to find out how people of color can best succeed as entrepreneurs.

1. Evaluate your financial situation.

Starting a business costs money—sometimes a lot of money. The amount you need should be budgeted carefully and on par with the company's projected cash flow, revenue, and onboarding costs.

"Since starting a business involves investing your own money, entrepreneurs have to rework their financial habits with one end game: saving for a full-scale company," Blue-Francis says. A financial advisor can help map your financial forecast and determine ways to fund your business such as loans, partnerships, and angel investors.

2. Combine your personal financial plan with your business's financial plan.

As an entrepreneur, the only person who is contributing to your financial future is you. Blue-Francis recommends that new business owners research individual retirement plans and use benchmarks to stay on track and save enough money for the date you wish to retire. Also consider insuring your business and protecting your ability to make money if you are unable to work.

"Combining your personal and professional financial goals will ensure that your life milestones coincide with bigger moments in your business," Blue-Francis says. "Learning how to keep the business afloat while staying on track with your long-term financial goals will set you up for success in both areas of your life."

3. Remember: You're not alone.

Starting your own venture doesn't mean you have to do it all on your own. Advisors and other resources are available to help with virtually every aspect of starting and growing a business.

"Your skillset may be perfect for marketing and product creation, but business ownership involves much more," Blue-Francis says. "Focus on the areas you need to improve first and then move on to honing your other skills."

Click here to learn more about how Northwestern Mutual's financial advisors can help grow your business.

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