Women in Small Business: 7 Tips for Success [Infographic]
October is Women’s Small Business Month, which means it is the perfect time to celebrate all the hard-working female entrepreneurs out there. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA),
- 21 percent of companies with employees are majority-owned by women
- female-owned firms hire an average of eight workers
- the number of female-owned businesses is growing faster than male-owned companies
There’s no denying that women in business often face different challenges than their male counterparts. The following list recognizes those unique obstacles and provides tips that could help you to succeed.
1. Surround yourself with other female business owners
No one can empathize with what you’re experiencing better than another woman, so connect with other female entrepreneurs locally or online. They might be facing similar problems as you, and together you can find great solutions. You’ll each have different strengths and talents. By working together, you can help each other make financial decisions, devise new marketing strategies, or find the right vendors. You can help build each other up and become each other’s trusted mentors and advisors.
Read also: Do I Need a Mentor?
2. Focus on your strengths
Women have unique strengths, including being more compassionate. All too often, however, they try to hide these traits. Instead, they try to adopt characteristics that are typically related to men, such as being willing to take risks. But your unique qualities can help you become a strong leader.
For example, by being compassionate toward your staff, you’ll have the ability to understand what they’re going through, which can help in recruiting and managing your team. 53% of millennials recognize that having a compassionate boss is an important part of their work lives. So, by being empathetic, you’ll be able to attract talented workers and decrease employee turnover.
You’ll also be able to show your customers that you understand them, which can help you build stronger relationships. This will help you turn your clients into brand ambassadors who happily share your company with their friends and family.
3. Take time for yourself
Building a successful small business takes a lot of time and hard work, especially if you’re also juggling personal responsibilities – like taking care of your family. When you’re going 100 miles per hour all the time, it can be easy for you to lose motivation. Remember to take regular breaks and schedule vacation time for yourself, so you don’t burn out.
4. Be proud of your accomplishments
Women tend to sell themselves short – but you’re building this fantastic business, so don’t be afraid to brag a little bit. Speaking positively about what you’ve achieved doesn’t mean you’re arrogant. Instead, it shows that you’re confident in your skills and abilities. If you continue to doubt your success or you are worried that you’ll be exposed as a fraud, you might be experiencing a very real condition called imposter syndrome.
5. Ask for what you want
You won’t get anything you need if you don’t ask for it, and too often, women are afraid to admit what they really need. If you want your vendors to give you better rates, be willing to negotiate. If you’re looking for $50,000 in capital, pitch to investors and request the full amount. Only you know precisely what your small business needs, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
6. Don’t take rejection personally
In the business world, not everyone is going to like your idea. When you do face rejection, try not to take it personally, which can be particularly challenging for women. Instead, learn from the experience and tweak your plans as necessary to attract more customers or get additional funding.
7. Don’t try to do it all yourself
Women frequently feel like the only way they can prove themselves in a male-dominated business world is by trying to do everything themselves. But, as your small business grows, it’s critical that you spend more time focusing on things that bring in revenue and less time on the nitty-gritty details. That means you won’t be able to do everything yourself.
When you start hiring employees, take some time to recognize your own strengths. Then, look for team members who have a different skill set than you do so they can take on the tasks that aren’t in your area of expertise. For example, if you don’t have experience in digital marketing, hire someone knowledgeable in social media to help you reach new shoppers. By hiring people who can help you grow your company, you’ll be able to build a successful, long-lasting business.
If you would like to be able to help your team and offer advice when they need it, then keep learning and adding new skills. You can ask your staff to teach you or look for free classes either online or through your local Chamber of Commerce. Or, you might find an inexpensive course through Coursera, Cengage, or LinkedIn Learning.