Exploring new horizons of success & unleashing new avenues, a plethora of women entrepreneurs have unraveled different paths with explicit ideas. They are grabbing the reins and starting their start-ups. The number of women-owned small businesses is growing approximately twice as quickly as the national average for all start-ups.
Restricting the women’s caliber to cooking, beauty specialization, interior designing etc. the attained success of women entrepreneurs in almost every field is making a way for complete reluctance of the term ‘woman-owned business.’
Women are starting businesses of every type and size and in every industry — from construction to technology to professional services, and from one-person consulting firms to Fortune 500 companies.
The legal and bureaucratic rules faced women entrepreneurs are exactly the same as those faced by men. But as many women business owners share their experience, the road to success for women often involves its own unique set of hazards. Surveys of women business owners’ show that women’s business concerns tend to skew towards issues such as finding work-life balance, expansion, financing, and marketing. The following suggestions will address some of the concerns that are most commonly faced by women entrepreneurs.
- Start a business that works for you and fits well with your personal life
There are no rules as to what a “real” business looks like. Tap in a business which you feel you can take to newer heights, plan & strategize well, market research and understanding the target audience is a must. Along with this make sure to take into account your personal space and work life balance.
- Don’t sweat over legal hurdles
Women and men alike, find themselves stuck on the verge of taking the leap into starting a business, but confused about how to tackle the legal rules of getting started. This hang-up is always grounded more in fear than reality; the truth is that clearing the bureaucratic hurdles isn’t usually a big deal. You can usually start a sole proprietorship or a partnership by registering with just one government office. For starters, you’ll need to have a sound business idea, and you’ll need to be able to develop good management skills to guide it to success.
- Need of adequate funds
Although it’s important to start your business with enough capital, that doesn’t mean that every business needs piles and piles of money to get off the ground. Plenty of mega-successful businesses were started on a shoestring: Apple Computer started in a garage; Hewlett-Packard started in the dining room of the Packard home; the list goes on and on. Have a strong and sound idea and you can work wonders with whatever minimum you have, strength remains to show the courage & kick-start.
- Start-up or expansion financing, consider sources other than traditional banks
One of the concerns most commonly cited by women entrepreneurs is difficulty finding start-up financing. And it’s little wonder: traditional banks typically don’t lend money to new ventures that don’t have a track record of success or creditworthiness. Instead of focusing on conventional big chain banks, start-ups should instead look for local community banks, credit unions, and other local financial institutions that have a vested interest in the health of the local economy. Often, their application processes and criteria are softer than the big banks. Both WBCs and CDFIs can be especially helpful for start-ups, businesses with poor credit, and businesses seeking relatively small loans, generally up to $100,000. Even better, they often offer guidance and expertise to your business in addition to financing, which will help your chances of success.
- Marketing/Selling is an integral part, be flexible for client/customer negotiations
Certainly there is an art to selling and negotiating, and every business person should work on developing these skills. There are countless books and online resources on the topic that can be very helpful as you refine your approach. Just remember that the stereotypical pushy, aggressive salesperson is not the model to work towards. Instead, focus on developing your communication skills and keeping your own personality in the mix as you develop your own selling style.
- Networking is the key to announce & promote your brand and create profitable opportunities.
Networking involves actively cultivating relationships with people, businesses, community leaders, and others who present possible opportunities for your business — not just as potential customers, but also as vendors, partners, investors, or other roles. Networking is not the same thing as sales: Rather than the simple goal of making a sale, a huge goal of networking is to inform other business people and influential people about what you do in hopes that they will recommend your business to their circle of contacts.
- Stay focused on client/customer feedback; enhances credibility & fosters innovation
Giving an ear to client and customer needs is highly viable; it creates a word-of-mouth & enhances trust & credibility. Moreover, in the process the company stays intact with new updates & indulges in innovation to cater what’s required.