Tips for aspiring female entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneur on her cellphone while standing behind the counter [Courtesy]

In a society where entrepreneurship is still largely considered a predominantly male undertaking, female entrepreneurs face some unique challenges. For instance, there is a significant funding gap for women entrepreneurs compared to their male counterparts.

Women also experience more challenges when networking as entrepreneurship can be a little like an old boys’ club. In addition, women are usually the main caregivers at home, and they have to juggle this role alongside entrepreneurship.

While these challenges are daunting, they shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your entrepreneurship dreams. The benefits of self-made success are worth persisting through challenges.

Establish your purpose

When it comes to running a business, you need to figure out your big why. Finding your distinct sense of purpose enables you to focus on what matters most to you and persevere through difficult times.

Take some time to consider your mission if you haven’t done so already. Do you want to create a product that simplifies people’s lives? Do you want to help your community create jobs? Perhaps you’d like to provide a service that assists people in achieving a specific objective.

When you figure out your purpose, you’re less likely to suffer from imposter syndrome, which affects plenty of entrepreneurs. This enables you to be more confident and productive in your chosen path.

Think about why you want to start a business. What gets you excited? Who is your business for? What are you trying to achieve? These questions will help you narrow your focus and define your mission.

Become an avid learner

The most crucial attribute a leader may possess is the ability to learn. You will not succeed in business unless you have the right attitude towards learning.

You won’t be able to succeed in business unless you have the right attitude towards learning. Prioritising learning allows you to stay ahead of the competition. It keeps you modest and adaptive, exposes you to fresh ideas and viewpoints, and keeps you informed about industry trends and changing client demands.

Even a small amount of work goes a long way. Every day, strive to be one per cent better. Aim high and long-term, yet make tiny daily progress.

To keep learning, maintain a sense of curiosity about different aspects of your business – from product development, marketing, to customer service. Make a point to keep up with industry news and expert opinions. In addition, take relevant business seminars and sign up for conferences in your field.

Build your personal brand

Having a strong personal brand gets people excited about you. When you have built your reputation as a thought leader in your industry, people have more confidence in your entrepreneurship and leadership skills. Investors will be more confident about giving you their money, clients will trust you to deliver, and employees will feel like they know you, which will make them more committed to your vision.

To build a personal brand, make the effort to learn and share your knowledge. You can do this via writing blog posts (for your own blog or as a guest blogger), sharing posts on social media, creating YouTube videos, writing a book, and speaking at events.

It’s also important to invest in effective networking. Reach out to other thought leaders in your industry, contribute to relevant discussions, and attend industry events.

Reach out for help

Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. As an entrepreneur, it is important to cultivate a support network that can catch you when you fall. While networking, make sure to focus on connecting with other female entrepreneurs and leaders – studies show that women need female allies for success.

Other female entrepreneurs with non-competing businesses can help you navigate the pitfalls along the way. Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you don’t have to do everything all on your own. Be bold about asking for help and guidance from others.

Being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean that you have all the answers.

Accepting this truth and asking for help when you need it is what makes you a great business owner. Know your strengths and bring in the right people to help with your limitations.

Other than asking for advice from other entrepreneurs, you should also hire the right employees for each role. You need a strong team to make your dream a reality. Outsource tasks that you don’t have the skills, time, or resources to take on in-house.

Don’t be afraid of failure

The fear of failure hinders plenty from pursuing entrepreneurship. It’s important to overcome this fear by adopting a more positive attitude towards failure. Making mistakes and suffering failure is part and parcel of every entrepreneur’s journey.

To build a successful business, you have to be willing to take risks and embrace challenges. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to gain new skills, solve problems more effectively, and achieve your goals a little faster.

Say yes to challenging projects and be willing to try new things – be it developing new products or targeting a new demographic with your products or services. Take each failure as part of the learning process.