Over the last two decades, the number of women-owned companies in the US has increased by 114%. Even though this data is a great milestone for business-minded females, the narrative behind this figure shows some startling truths.
The reason for the exponential increase in female-owned companies is linked to many challenges women encounter in their workplace. For this reason, women have decided to engage in necessity entrepreneurship.
Typically, this means that someone establishes a business to elevate the economic status. Nevertheless, in this case, most women are getting into business ownership for various non-economic needs like gender discrimination in the office, desires for greater autonomy, childrearing, and good life-work balance.
Unluckily, the majority of getting into entrepreneurship because they think that’s the only choice. However, these people are facing many challenges as entrepreneurs. Even though women might be finding perfect autonomy and flexibility outside of their workplace, they still might be facing challenges that hamper their progress. Here are some of the issues that women entrepreneurs experience and strategies to overcome them.
Lack of quality mentorship
Mentors are important to professional growth. The experts offer leadership development training to be successful. Additionally, they can connect you with influencers in their vast network. Both traits can be amazingly valuable to a woman entrepreneur. Unluckily, most women don’t have a mentor.
Tips for overcoming this
If you are looking for a business mentor, pay attention to the women-based business affinity organization or business association in your town. The majority of these groups provide mentorship programs that link you with mentors. Additionally, alumni and friendship networks are important. A friend of your friend might know a professional who can fill the gap of a mentor.
Juggling family life and business
While women are taking on professions and working hours that are the same as men, the majority of the perfume has more childrearing and housework duties than men. These activities will make the daily demands for operating a business almost difficult. Besides, life will be more challenging for women who are single parents.
Tips for overcoming this
A way to manage family responsibilities and business needs can vary based on personal needs. Nevertheless, a good starting point is taking one day to find out where most of your time goes. Take time to observe your busiest days, your kids’ schedules, and the time required for a family obligation.
You can start to find out where you spend less time and the most difficult things to do. Unattended errands and household chores might affect your productivity. Therefore, assign takes to your older kids or spouse, and find out where you can get extra help if required.
Lack of access to enough investment funding
Some research indicates that investments for men are higher than that of women. There is a huge gap between venture capitalists and investment financing for businesswomen. Despite that, the dollar of financing, startups financed by female entrepreneurs produced 78 cents for each dollar white male entrepreneurs made 31 cents. Unluckily, women are battling gender perception challenges regarding business investment.
Tips to overcome this
The majority of women investors have noticed this financing gap and have established companies to finance businesswomen. There are many female venture capitalist companies that have emerged over the last ten years. Find out if you can get any of these companies in your city. There are so many funding resources such as the female founders’ fund, women’s VC Fund, and backstage capital. These organizations offer finance for women and the underrepresented people. Additionally, make sure you create a good relationship with prospect funds. Research and make sure you attend pitch competitions and business accelerator occasions in your area since most venture capitalists will attend.
Know the value you bring
The majority of women tend to undervalue their expertise and services when compared to males, making them undershoot their pricing. This will make it hard for women to generate more income in their companies.
Tips to overcome this challenge
Evaluate your skills and the services you offer and start to get a feel for the typical pricing for your products or services. This will allow you to have enough confidence to quote for what you are worth. Additionally, it would help if you felt confident since you know your company is better than others. If you have done the work diligently, learned about your field, and invested in your education, then you need to feel ready to communicate with investors and clients.
Getting investors is not an utter necessity when launching a business, there are other alternatives for small business funding, business incubators, factoring, credit unions. But for most business people, it’s a valuable consideration. Unfortunately, female-owned businesses are less likely to get funding than those businesses operated by men. To counter this, investors are searching for a sure and viable thing. So, make sure your crew consists of individuals who can strive incredible confidence into the hearts of those you are pitching to. You need a strong team and a well-crafted business plan that can give investors the confidence they need in your concept.
Unlike male entrepreneurs, women have a tender and emotionally driven side. This can affect the communication and decision-making styles. In many ways, females are hardwired to nurture, and this can be a hindrance when making tough decisions. Men and women operate a business in various ways. However, women focus more on personal relationships within the company. This is a perfect technique that provides them an advantage, provided they are business-driven.
Don’t think like a man
Knowing that women and men handle business differently is not enough to guarantee growth as a female entrepreneur. One challenge that most women encounter in business is the concept that they must behave like men. Even though being a lady inherently implies that you will value various things and make different business decisions, which is not a bad thing. Make sure your approach to business dealings is unique, and that’s the best thing. Always be yourself and don’t be overwhelmed when the males outnumber you. Allow intuition to guide your initiatives, and you will be good.
Not all business women have kids or are married. But for those who have family, it can be a great challenge to find a balance between home life and business success. It’s possible to get a balance between business and family. However, there is discernment in the business world that women without kids and husbands are less distracted and can’t concentrate on their business. The most important thing is to find time for your family and business. Create boundaries that work for you.
Believing in your capabilities
One of the difficult things about being a female entrepreneur is believing in your abilities and accomplishments. Women tend to worry that they will sound boastful or arrogant if they have something good to say about their achievement. Remember that you are your toughest supporter. If you can’t share your skills to sell your business, no one will. You are a valuable investment, and you must believe that.
The number of women venturing into various businesses is increasing. Nevertheless, the majority of females want to own businesses out of necessity. The majority of them are realizing that they are experiencing unique challenges that male entrepreneurs might not experience.
As these challenges will always be there, the best thing is that there are some measures women can take to handle these issues. Expectantly, as many women are getting into entrepreneurship, most of the challenges above will evolve into things that are non-existent or manageable.