As women, we’re always thinking of ways to add additional income to our households while following our passions. Everyone says “I want to be a millionaire” but many don’t believe it’s an attainable goal.
I saw this great article on Womenpreneur.com and wanted to share it with you. In this article the writer uses the first female African-American millionaire Madame C.J. Walker as her muse to outline tips on how to become a millionaire.
Madame C.J. Walker was able to turn her passion for hair and cosmetics into a lucretive business. Her first product was Wonderful Hair Grower. Shortly after, Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Co. was founded to sell hair-care products and cosmetics.
Her secret was simple. She followed some basic business-planning principles that still remain important today:
- She discovered a need. Her idea for business came from her own pain and realization of a need. Walker had lost most of her hair due to a scalp ailment. She noticed that there were no products being offered to help or prevent her ailment. So she decided to produce great hair products.
- She gained a working knowledge of her craft. Working knowledge is normally used to describe one’s familiarity with the business or product startup. Madam Walker gained her knowledge while working as a sales agent for a hair-product manufacturer. She learned about manufacturing, sales and product development before starting her business.
- She told everyone about her new business. Although Madam Walker was doing something unexpected, she did not cower from her dream. Here she was, the daughter of slaves and part of a community that had never before seen its own produce her own paycheck. Yet despite the skepticism, she traveled the South for a year, promoting her products and services.
- She found scalability. Scalability is defined as “how well the solution to some problem will work when the size of the problem increases.” Most business advisors will tell you that in order to grow your business, you have to be ready to take on more business orders. Oprah refers to this as when your “preparation meets opportunity.” For Madam Walker, this meant getting a factory in order to manufacture her products and process timely orders for her agents.
- She enhanced her business model. In order to enhance her business model, Walker licensed other women to sell her products. She wanted to promote economic wealth and independence for other women. This way, her products were selling in other states and reaching the masses without additional travel costs for her. She also built a school and salon as an extension of her brand.