5 Success Tips for Female Entrepreneurs: What You Need to Know for a Successful Business
Women are called the “world’s largest untapped economic resource.” They represent roughly one half of all workers and own more than a quarter of all businesses in the U.S., yet they only account for a fraction of businesses that receive venture capital funding. This type of inequality is not just an issue in the United States, but around the world, as there are many countries where women still have difficulty accessing education, employment opportunities, and positions of leadership. It’s no wonder then that women entrepreneurs face steep odds when starting their own business. Here, are five tips to help female entrepreneurs get ahead in business.
What is a female entrepreneur?
The term “female entrepreneur” means someone who has started or built a business for their own profit. Types of female entrepreneurs First, there are startups like Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel and venture capitalists like Lightspeed Venture Partners' Jeremy Liew who are entirely self-funded. But the majority of female entrepreneurs face serious challenges when it comes to funding. Related: How to Talk to Anyone About Your Company Only 15 percent of startup companies receive VC funding, and only 2 percent of all venture-backed startups are started by women. Beyond financial barriers, a lack of gender diversity among business leaders can cause other obstacles. For example, women make up 49 percent of the U.S. workforce, but only 23 percent of executives at Fortune 500 companies.
5 tips on how to succeed as an entrepreneur
Know the business model ahead of time: This will help you determine the viability of your business, as well as what the market potential of your product or service may be. If you don’t already have an idea of how you’ll make your money, consider starting a side hustle, consulting business, or an early-stage company and build a business plan around it. Build the right team: This should be an integral part of your startup, as finding the right people to run your business and fulfill your vision is half the battle. It is imperative that you build a team with complementary skills and that you select the right fit to be your co-founder, CFO, accountants, marketing professionals, etc. Don’t forget that you’re a team, too, and it is vital to listen to each other.
Be brave enough to fail
Your startups will not be a success if you don’t have the guts to try and fail. This means not only pushing yourself to the point of failure and to the brink of collapse, but also giving your business the opportunity to succeed or fail on its own merit, after going through the testing process. It’s not easy to succeed when the only guarantee is that you won’t. However, failing — and learning from the experience — is what separates the successful from the rest of the pack. If you don’t keep learning and growing, you can become complacent and cease to be innovative and on the cutting edge. If you can’t make it, fail fast If you’re serious about starting your own business, you have to make your idea a reality as soon as you possibly can.
Find your niche
Being a female entrepreneur is especially hard in fields that have traditionally been dominated by men. One tip: make sure you’re creating a business that’s truly unique. If you’re competing in a crowded field, you may not be able to offer a product or service that your customers haven’t already seen, heard, or experienced. In the U.S. alone, 60 percent of the fastest growing companies were started by women. When it comes to start-ups, women tend to be more entrepreneurial. Focus on relationships You have to be persistent, whether it’s in the form of networking, asking for feedback, or just keeping an open mind and engaging in the conversation. Once you get over the hurdle of convincing yourself that you’re a strong entrepreneur, you need to stay engaged with your target audience.
Don’t be afraid of competition
In business, it is common for competitors to get better as time goes on. Most business owners simply make the necessary changes to stay on top, but it is important to find competitors who do not have the same level of resources as you. These competitors can help you with important information about what works and what doesn’t. You can learn a great deal about how to market your product by observing how others are doing it. Meet as many local entrepreneurs as possible You can learn a great deal about your industry and business by meeting people who are already doing it. It’s important to get to know those in your area who have already been successful in the market, as this helps you build your confidence.
Have a plan for what you want to do with the business
As women enter entrepreneurship, they must be clear about what they want to accomplish with the company. One key objective that all female entrepreneurs should have is to have a sustainable business in place. This means creating a business that is not only profitable but that also has a positive impact on society and the environment. Often, the first steps in planning for the future are to identify target markets and determine a high enough likelihood of success in that target market. Female entrepreneurs need to ask themselves what problem they are solving for their customers and how they can help them improve their situation. Then, they must determine how they are going to do this by focusing on increasing sales, reducing costs, or improving customer service.
Know your industry and what it takes to make a successful business
One of the biggest challenges female entrepreneurs face is financial capability. Many women have small budgets and limited resources, which make it more difficult to keep a company afloat. What you need to know is what it takes to start a business in your industry, such as what does it cost to purchase the equipment, supplies, and resources you need to get off the ground? Figure out how much money you need to get your business off the ground and determine how much money you need to keep it running day-to-day. It’s important to make your business profitable before you start adding employees, so you’re not using resources on operations that are no longer needed.
Even with the growing number of women entrepreneurs, the space for women in business is becoming a smaller and smaller area. At the same time, women continue to have major impacts on global markets, and as such, there’s a lot of research and efforts underway to increase their access to funding and to make it easier for them to start businesses. That’s a positive thing, and women should embrace the opportunities that come along with it. Related: The History of Women's Entrepreneurship in America (Infographic) The challenge of starting a business has never been bigger, nor has the need for female entrepreneurs to stand out.