10 Things Women Entrepreneurs Need To Do Better To CRUSH it!
Things are changing and more women are starting businesses. Hooray! Having been on that journey myself, I am keen to help others by sharing my experiences of what we Fempreneurs can do better, while maintaining our values and maximising on our advantages.
1. Women need to project more confidence about their businesses. We don't need to get into the bragging and bluster, more common in men but we do need to inspire confidence in others. Therefore, don't be overly modest about your knowledge and expertise and don't be too self deprecating.
2. Women need to stop being shy about seeking investment. Part of the reason why men secure more funding is because they ask for investment. While there is an increase in female investors (14%), the majority are men and we have to get over that. I, like many women, hate the 'dragons den' type funding environments. They feel like they can be public humiliation centres, but it's also an opportunity to put word out about your brand. Men, who generally start a business to make money vs. women who are driven by work/family balance and making a difference. Perhaps because of that, we are more likely to take refusals personally and have our confidence knocked. Men have a greater capacity to brush off refusals and certainly don't dwell on them as we can.
3. We need to demonstrate that while we might be making the world a better place with our business, we are also financially astute. That we understand a P&L, balance sheet and cash flow. From childhood parents and others often tell children maths is hard and it becomes ingrained in us. My Father told me that Maths is the easiest subject in the world because it is objective. 2+2 =4 and only. No-one else opinion of that answer is required, unlike other subjects. I grew up believing Maths is easy and so did not have mental barriers to numbers.
4. We need to develop our appetite for risk, a little further. An example is, rather than spread resources over 10 things, chose the 1 or 2 that you think will make the biggest difference to the business and put all resources behind them.
5. Follow the 80/20 rule and get it out the door, launched, sent etc. By the time we get things perfect, the moment might be gone. When it is 80% ready, don't hold back, you can improve it on the way. My husband urged me on this when I was creating my first website. 'Get it launched and improve it later'.
6. Negotiate and re-negotiate, for better pricing, better terms, more visible locations, marketing support, settlement terms and anything that gives your business advantage. Don't be afraid.
7. Put ourselves out there. Don't worry about what other people will think. An example is that the Founder has to be visible in social media. Stop worrying if you look perfect in the photo's, if others will think you are being 'pushy', or if they will laugh at you. Anyone who does anything but admire your efforts, should be toast!
8. Women are more likely to offer family friendly benefits and working flexibility to their teams. We must not allow that to be taken advantage of. In a small business, productivity is immensely important and your team is likely to be your biggest expense.
9. Stay focussed on the goal. Measure all decisions to the goal - is it advancing you to the end goal? That helps to stay on track. If you start everything with the end in mind, you won't find yourself adrift.
10. Learn to say NO! A great tip is to start with 'I am unable to do xxxx'
Let me know if you have found this useful and if you have any other tips, please add them in the comments.
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