There has been no other time in history that has been as encouraging as now for women to start a business. Once in about every decade, there are problems in the economy like the subprime mortgage crises of 2008 or the current pandemic that has led to a shutdown across the globe. These challenges also give rise to opportunities that create the next generation of millionaires and billionaires, and a smart businesswoman should be able to see the opportunities and cease them. Here are 7 business tips for aspiring women entrepreneurs who want to be tomorrow's leaders and role models.
1) Embrace the Fear:
The one thing that is the most common reason why women are not starting a business is fear. A stable job and a steady paycheck are seen as a safe option, especially when there is the added responsibility of caring for the family. Fear, however, can be a good thing. It stops people from taking reckless risks, but it shouldn’t stop potential entrepreneurs from living their dreams.
Embracing fear is the first step in an entrepreneur’s journey, and that means accepting the fact that failure is a possibility. Instead of allowing emotion to dictate actions, a businesswoman should think rationally about the situation. If failure is a possibility, perhaps it is prudent to start something small and risk a very negligible amount of money. While quitting a job may not be practical, it may not be difficult to work just one or two hours every day on a side hustle.
2) Find Your Passion, Do the Research:
When someone is working on a project she cares about, chances are that she will succeed. The reason for this is that when an entrepreneur enjoys the work so much, time seems to fly by and the work gets done without breaking a sweat. That is why it is important to start a business in a field that a businesswoman cares about.
Passion in itself is not enough. It has to be backed up by solid research to turn an idea into a viable business. One way to do this is to find out as much as possible about the potential customers and the markets. What do they buy? Where do they shop? Which months/season is best for business? These questions should get the entrepreneur started on building a business plan.
3) Aim to Be the Best:
When someone starts a business just because she can’t stand her work or because she wants to make some money instead of relying on her job, it doesn’t help to create a successful company. If a startup is going to sell a product that is similar to a million other such products in the market, the struggles will eventually become too great to sustain the business.
An entrepreneur should aim to be the best in the industry. This philosophy right from the start will put the businesswoman and her company on a path of continuous and relentless improvement that will be invaluable in the cut-throat marketplace.
4) Show Up Events and Meet People:
Once an entrepreneur decides on the industry to serve it is important to know the key players in the field. Showing up at networking events should help a businesswoman to familiarize herself with the people involved and it will also help her learn about the latest trends and technologies in the industry. Networking events are also a great place to meet potential future partners, financers, or expert employees.
5) Start Small but Plan to Scale:
A bootstrapped budget and limited sales in the first few months can be disheartening. However, the entrepreneur should be prepared for these small numbers in the initial stages while keeping an eye to scale up the business in the future. A billion-dollar company doesn’t get built overnight.
6) Invest in Yourself:
An entrepreneur is often compared to a one-man army who has to do everything. Naturally, there will be gaps in the skill set. Someone who is good at finance may be terrible at sales. There could be challenges in understanding the technical aspects of a manufacturing process or it may be difficult to negotiate favorable rates with the suppliers.
A smart businesswoman will be able to identify these gaps and invest in books or courses to improve herself. Many of these resources are available for free or for very little cost online. There could also be someone among friends, family, or the professional network who can help fill this skill gap.
7) Learn to Lead
Building a successful company is not just about the product or the service, but is also about attracting and empowering talented employees. The leadership skills of the entrepreneur are the key to building a strong organization with a dedicated workforce, and a businesswoman should develop these skills carefully over the years just as her company grows and starts employing more people.