How Women Can Be Successful Entrepreneurs
It might surprise you to discover that only around one-third of all businesses are run by women. Even though many women have proven themselves to be highly competent and successful in terms of their companies, it’s only a few – comparatively speaking – who actually move forward and turn their ideas and dreams into reality.
There are many possible reasons for this. One might be that they are worried about trying to move up in a male-dominated sphere. Others might feel they need to stay home – or in a more stable job – to take care of their families. Plus other reasons that are too numerous to list.
The point is we need to ensure that more women take the opportunities that are afforded to them when it comes to starting a business and help them to understand the different ways they can move forward and become the solid, successful entrepreneurs they want to be. With this in mind, here are some useful pieces of advice to help women build the business of their dreams.
Be As Flexible As Possible
Both men and women need to find a good balance between work and home life to be able to manage their careers well and keep doing well. Flexible work arrangements can give families more options for how to run their homes and help both parents advance in their careers. For example, more and more men are choosing to work flexible hours so they can pick up their kids from school early. Because of this, flexible working is one of the most sought-after benefits for employees, and companies that can offer it are more likely to be able to find and keep the best workers.
There are many kinds of flexibility, and each one can help a business in different ways. By letting employees come in earlier or stay later, extending business hours can also help customers get in touch with the company at more times.
Flexible working may not be right for all businesses, but the overall goal should still be to create a company culture that is focused on results and outcomes rather than the amount of time spent in the office. Check to see if any of your employees have the wrong idea that working extra hours will show how dedicated and valuable they are because all this will do is lead to burnout.
As a female entrepreneur, you might feel that offering flexible working is something that will make you be seen as ‘soft’ or that you are thinking too much about family and not enough about work. This is not true. What you’re doing is creating a work-life balance for your workers and yourself, and this is something that all businesses will need to do to be successful. You’re simply getting ahead of the curve.
Do Something Different
One of the best ways a woman can grow into a successful entrepreneur and live the life she has always envisioned is to be different. Or rather, to do something different. If you can create a business that stands out, the success you want will be much easier to find. A unique business will market itself a lot of the time, and you’ll be able to focus on doing the work and growing the business rather than having to deal with all the minutiae that are crucial, but that take up precious time.
If you’re not sure what you can do or how to make it unique, research business ideas for women. This will give you an excellent start, and you’ll have a lot to think about. Starting a business for women run by women could be perfect because your customer base already exists, and the trust – the bond formed between women – will be there instinctively in many cases. Again, this will save you time; get your products and branding right, and everything else will fall into place.
There is something you’ll need to do (or rather not do) if you’re looking for a business that is different from everyone else’s, whether it’s targeted solely at women or not. That thing is not to tell yourself that all the good ideas are taken. They definitely are not. Apart from the idea of marketing your business directly to women, other ways to consider what might work are to look at your daily life and think about the issues you have. Is there something you can create or design that would solve those issues?
Remember, if you’re having problems with the way a kettle does its job or getting food out of a microwave without spilling it, or how the sun gets in your eyes mid-afternoon at your desk, other people are too. Fix that problem with your product or service, and you’ll have a business you can start right away.
No one can ever know everything, but we can certainly give it a good try. When you run a business, you need to know more than your customers, so start with this idea in your head and use it to push yourself forward. If you know more than your customers, you’ll be able to show you’re an expert and give them solutions to their problems (as we mentioned above). If you know less than your customers, they won’t be able to rely on your solutions, and they won’t trust you. Instead, they’ll look for someone else who they can trust because they know so much more.
With this in mind, it makes sense to look at ways to keep learning and enhance your knowledge. Because there is a never-ending stream of new things you could learn, you’ll need to narrow everything down. Work out what it is you specifically need to know to become an expert in your field, and start by gaining this knowledge. You might choose to read books and journals, go to conferences, take a degree course online, or find a mentor to help you. Once you have learned one thing, move on to another and never stop learning. It’s the only way to grow.
If you want to be successful, you need to know what it is that works and what doesn’t (and there will be things that don’t work) within your business. No matter how objectively you might look at this, you’ll always have some bias towards how you work, and it will be hard to know if you’re really seeing what you need to see.
This is why asking for feedback is so important and why asking for it from the right people is crucial. The best people to ask for feedback from are your customers. Try to find out what it is they love about what you do and what they would like you to change. You can also ask your staff if you have any, as they will be the ones who have to do the work, and they will have a unique perspective on things.
You can also gather your own feedback in a different way. This way involves looking into what your competition is doing. Researching your competitors can also help you figure out what customers want and how to offer it to them in a way that works. However, you will need to do more than just look at the websites of your competitors.
Read reviews, find articles about them, and talk to people who have bought from them. Pay special attention to negative reviews, and ask people what they wish they could get from the product or service they’re using from your competition. By doing this detailed analysis, you’ll be able to see where your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses are. Once you’ve identified their gaps in the market, you can utilize that knowledge to sell more of your own goods.
No matter if you’re a man or a woman, it takes bravery to manage a company and deal with all the hard problems you’re sure to encounter.
You have to get out of your comfort zone all the time if you want to move forward, gain confidence, and eventually succeed. For this reason, it’s important to have confidence in your ability to weather setbacks and recover from them. If you’re brave, you won’t ever look back.
The question is, though, how to be brave. How to get out of your comfort zone. Although it will be hard, the best thing to do is have goals. When you have goals in mind that you can keep working towards, you’ll automatically step out of your comfort zone when you have to – often, you won’t even think about it because it’s just what you need to do to get that much closer to your ultimate prize.
Women often don’t see how much they can do and don’t dream big enough. It’s important to get to the heart of why you started your business and to really think about what you want to leave behind as your legacy. This will help you find all the strength and bravery you could need.