When most people think of an entrepreneur, they envision a gray-haired, business-suit-wearing, briefcase-holding man hurrying towards an office building, glancing frantically at his watch. The truth of the matter is, entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, and of course, genders. Female entrepreneurs are on the rise in America. According to the Small Business Association, or SBA, there are approximately 6.5 million female-owned businesses in the United States. These companies that are run by women generate over 940 billion dollars in revenues alone. It’s these amazing women entrepreneurs that are breaking through the stereotype mentioned above– and many of them are moms!
Despite these facts, the entrepreneurial world is still dominated by males. While 6.5 million companies are owned by females, approximately 13.1 million are owned by males. Therefore, male-run companies practically double the amount of female-run companies. But, ladies, do not get discouraged. In order to boost female’s initiatives to start-up their own businesses, I have collaborated a list. This list can help give women entrepreneurs and mompreneurs everywhere advice on how to start up their very own businesses.
1. Don’t be afraid to take risks
When starting up a business, entrepreneurs must be driven by their own passion. Women are biologically more emotional than men, and with that emotion, comes great passion. This passion can lead to motivation. Therefore, as a woman, do not be afraid to do something that you love. Female entrepreneurs and mompreneurs must start-up their businesses with a “if it hasn’t been done, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done” mentality. In a recent survey, forty-four percent of women start-up their businesses in fear of failing, however, actual failure rates are on par for both male and female entrepreneurs. So go out there and take a risk!
2. Have confidence in yourself
Developing confidence goes hand-in-hand with risk-taking. If you’re willing to take the risk of starting up your own business, you better also carry yourself with confidence along the way. Without confidence, your employees, partners and competition may see your weaknesses. Remember that starting up your own business is an extremely brave thing to do, but making it become a success is even more courageous. Take this and transfer it into your own self-confidence. Starting up your own business can also help to create more confidence in all aspects of your life. In a survey of 1,000 women entrepreneurs, sixty-six were found to have increased confidence in their lives after starting up their own companies.
3. Know the product or service like the back of your hand
To be a successful entrepreneur means to know the ins and outs of your product or service. Be sure to research your products, evaluate specific strategies, and brainstorm issues that your brand may face. By doing a thorough analysis, you will eliminate any doubts that you may have about your product or service. In addition to this, you must also recognize the market that you are entering into—ask yourself who would buy your product and study this market thoroughly. Finally, with knowledge of your business, you also need to be a believer in your product. If you wouldn’t buy the product, others probably won’t either!
4. Create specific goals
It has been found that women do not sustain businesses as long as men. According to the SBA, more than fifty percent of startups are women-owned businesses, however, the total number of women-owned businesses is only twenty-eight percent. This means that women come in and out of business ownership at a quicker pace than men. In order to avoid a short business life, women must create specific long- and short-term goals for themselves and for the company. If the goals are written and displayed for the entire business to reach toward, the business has a greater chance of sustaining.
5. Balance work and family
Many mompreneurs out there are also homemakers. When starting-up a new business from home, there are extreme advantages and disadvantages. One of the greatest advantages is that females can have a flexible work schedule when working from home (in a recent poll, over seventy percent actually started their own business because they wanted flexible working conditions). Although this is a great advantage, it also has a down-side. On one side of the spectrum lies work, and the other, family. When one side gets heavier than the other, problems begin to occur. If one side begins to get heavier than the other, be sure to analyze the situation and shift accordingly. This may mean re-sizing the business to a more manageable level. If you are spending more time at work than with family, consider hiring more people to help out. If family time is taking over, talk to your employees and/or spouse and have them help you push it a little harder with your business. Interestingly enough, seventy-five percent of womentrepreneurs said that they had a better work-life balance when they began to run their own businesses—it’s all about teaching yourwork life and family life balanced self.
So, don’t be shy, ladies. Take a few risks, hold your head high, and be prepared for what’s ahead. Eighty-six percent of the already successful female entrepreneurs said that they would start up their own business if they had the chance to do it all over again. So, why not start now?
Allison Way is a writer and videographer for Think Big Partners (site to launch soon) and bizperc, two of Kansas City’s newest entrepreneurial resources. To read more of Allison’s articles, visit the Think Big Kansas City blog.