A lot more women have entered the entrepreneurial market – and it’s easy to see why. For one it allows them to bypass the “glass ceiling”. The flexibility of being “your own boss” is an environment which allows many women to thrive – you are in charge of your own career advancement! And with the age of digital, marketing barriers are lower and it’s easier for the small business to make a name for itself.

But unfortunately running a business as a woman also comes with a unique set of challenges- particularly financing. Not all women know about their resources and some don’t even bother apply for lines of credit, assuming they won’t get accepted. Instead, they rely on their own personal funding to not only get their business started, but to keep day to day operations running.

We’ll go over what some of those resources are later in this post. First, let’s look at the benefits of having credit as a women business owner:

Wealth, Not Debt

One reason women may be afraid to apply for credit is a concern over paying off high interest rates that ultimately just lead to a mountain of debt. But when used properly, loans can help create wealth, not debt. Think about it this way. If you apply for a loan with 12% annual interest, that’s only 1% per month. If you put that money directly into profit generating activities that create even 5% monthly profit, that’s 4% extra monthly profit!

Emergency Preparation

You don’t want to wait until the last minute to secure financing for emergencies. Inevitably, unforeseen expenses happen – equipment breaks down, employees suddenly quit, etc. If you don’t have a line of credit, you could might end up relying on “fast cash” options such as a merchant cash advance. These have extremely highly APRS that you will spend a long time paying off.

Opting for a business line of credit or a flexible loan is going to provide you with better rates and therefore a safer cushion for when things go wrong. Since it takes longer to get approved for these options, you don’t wait until you need the money to have it available.

Expansion Options

If business is good, you might feel ready to add an additional location. This is great news! That means there’s demand for your product/service. But opening a new location will have significant overhead costs. In an ideal world, you would have enough profit to avoid borrowing money to make this happen. But realistically, you want to expand when that demand is high! So while borrowing this amount may seem intimidating – a successful new location will be more than worth it in the long run.

Now that you know the benefits of having credit, we return to the question of how do you secure funding? The answer is creating solid business relationships. Becoming a trusted member of your local community will lead you to the right people – whether that’s a lender dedicated to supporting women business owners, one of the Women Business Centers ran by the National Business Association, or connections with other female entrepreneurs who can mentor you.

One of the great things about all the new women-ran businesses entering the market is a strong network of like-minded individuals with similar goals. You don’t have to rely on your own personal savings! Explore your financial options and you will uncover business oppo