Women entrepreneurs are breaking barriers and making notable strides every day. Globally, there are around 252 million women entrepreneurs while 153 million manage well-established businesses. In the last 20 years, the number of female entrepreneurs has increased by 114%. In the United States alone, there are about 12.3 million female entrepreneurs.
Indeed, women are challenging the status quo, defeating gender inequality and discrimination, and staking their claim in the world of business.
For women who aren’t afraid of ruffling a few feathers, we present you with seven essential tips for women entrepreneurs who are starting a business.
Put the odds in your favor by doing your research. Know your market as well as you can and don’t rush to establish a business based on a fixed and immovable timeline.
How do you get to know your market? Spend time browsing through the internet to know your target market’s demographics, behavior, buying patterns, tastes, and preferences. Conduct surveys and consider holding focus groups where you can ask people what they’re looking for. Know what your target market likes to do and how to reach them. Finding a niche that no one or few know about can give you the edge that you need to succeed.
Once you know your market, you can curate products that are specifically tailored to your audience. As you focus on creating the right brand and marketing campaign, don’t forget to work on yourself.
You are a big part of the brand you’re marketing regardless of how new or well-established your business is. Leverage your expertise and know-how to gain valuable visibility and credibility.
The adage that no man or woman is an island holds true in business. The bigger your endeavor, the more help you’ll need so never hesitate to ask for it.
A mentor can help you navigate uncharted territory. If you’ve never started a business before, a mentor can give you advice that can save you time and money. When you encounter challenges in putting up a business (and you will), a mentor can provide you with valuable insight that can guide your business decisions and growth.
You should ideally be looking for a mentor who has already reached the milestones that you want for your business. It can also be someone who is already successful in the industry you’re looking to enter or has successfully executed marketing and business strategies that you want to employ.
It’s better if you know your mentor personally, but if you don’t, then look to the titans of industry. Learn as much as you can about your mentor. Receive similar training. Read the books that he or she has read. Vuibo is an excellent resource for this because it shows you books that entrepreneurs from a variety of industries recommend.
Deciding to start a business takes a lot of positivity. We just want to remind you to keep it up because it’s crucial to success. Why? Whether you’re aware of it or not, your mindset is reflected in the way you do things, the decisions you make, and the way you interact with people.
It can mean the difference between a business idea that you give up on too quickly and a business where you soldier on until you achieve your goals.
A positive mindset also allows you to work at your best. Instead of engaging in negative self-talk, you can roll with the punches, do your best, and believe that the best is yet to come.
So the next time you catch yourself indulging in negative thoughts, take a deep breath, recharge if you need to, and come back with a more positive and optimistic attitude.
Why are you starting a business? Is it your passion? Do you want to eventually spend more time with family? Or perhaps you’re after financial freedom? Remember your reasons and list them down. They will fuel your determination and guide your efforts especially during times when you feel discouraged.
Once you know what you want to achieve in the grand scheme of things, break it down and create a business plan. Write down your milestones. It can be simple things like making your first $1,000 in sales, or getting 500 followers on your company’s social media profile, or launching your first marketing campaign.
Well-defined goals direct our efforts and make sure that everything we’re doing adds up to the big picture goals of our business. Regardless of the industry or your business model, make sure you have them.
Any kind of fear, especially the fear of failure, is paralyzing. Fear can prevent us from taking necessary risks that are crucial for our success. If you find yourself unable to make important business decisions because of a fear of failure, write out your fears and make a list of the pros and cons of going ahead with a certain choice.
Once you see the risks and benefits clearly, you can then make a calculated decision that’s based on the benefits outweighing the risks.
The one thing a woman entrepreneur should fear is never having given her business idea a fair chance. If that’s what you fear, then allow it to galvanize you into action. Do everything in your power to make sure that your idea becomes a lucrative and viable business.
You can also find inspiration from biographies of female entrepreneurs like Sheryl Sandberg, Jo Malone, Karren Brady, and Arianna Huffington among others.
You may have wanted to start your own business to spend less time working, but the truth is, a fledgling company will most likely take up more time than your day job. It’s therefore important that you allocate your time effectively.
Make sure that what you’re working on ties in with the milestones you set in your business plan. Whatever you spend your time on should reflect your business priorities. Consistent and persistent effort will eventually make a difference.
Here is a great article from Forbes that outlines techniques to help you manage your time more effectively.
Whether your business exists online or is a traditional brick-and-mortar shop, you’ll need to learn how to leverage and grow your network. You’ll need to draw on the support of your friends, family, former and current colleagues, bosses, etc.
While doing so, you should also identify potential gaps in your network so that you can remedy them. If you’re starting a dropshipping business, for example, then you’ll need to at least add vendors, a dropshipping supplier, and a web developer to your network as your business grows.
Social media, particularly LinkedIn, is an excellent resource for this.
Despite the odds that start-ups face, entrepreneurs are gifted with extraordinary courage, determination, and patience. They don’t mind putting in long hours towards an endeavor that doesn’t immediately bear fruit.
They know that in the end, with enough effort and business savvy, they will prevail and reach their business goals. Whatever you’re hoping to achieve today, we hope that these seven essential tips have made the path towards it clearer and more defined.
Written by Emma Houston
Emma is a gardener, a bookkeeper, writer, and mother of three. She is spending her time mostly in her garden. When she is not there, you will find her working on developing her own line of homemade natural skincare products.