Top Four Tips for Women Entrepreneurs

More women than ever before are grabbing the reins and starting their own businesses. The number of women-owned small businesses is growing approximately twice as quickly as the national average for all start-ups. Despite some long-held and inaccurate stereotypes of women tending towards makeup sales or Beanie Baby businesses, in truth there’s no such thing as a typical “woman-owned business.”

Some women entrepreneurs come from the corporate executive world and are simply ready to take a crack at running things themselves and putting their own ideas into action. Others have faced layoffs from a downsizing economy or are re-entering the workforce after taking time off to raise children. Still other women are pursing long-held dreams of running arts- or crafts-based businesses.

But as many women business owners will tell you, the road to success for women often involves its own unique set of hazards. Surveys of women business owners show that women’s business concerns tend to skew towards issues such as finding work-life balance, start-up (or expansion) financing, and marketing. The following tips address some of the issues and concerns that are most commonly faced by women entrepreneurs.

  1. Start A Business That Works For You And Fits With Your Personal Life.

There are no rules as to what a “real” business looks like. For some businesspeople, success might mean an international operation with hundreds of employees and annual revenues in the tens of millions. For others, a small consulting firm or artisan business that pays a healthy salary and allows generous personal freedom might be considered the pinnacle of success. The key is to take the time early in the planning process to consider this question and decide for yourself what your ideal vision is for your business¬†and¬†your personal life.

  1. Don’t Sweat The Bureaucracy.

A lot of would-be entrepreneurs, women and men alike, find themselves stuck on the verge of taking the leap into starting a business, but confused about how to tackle the legal rules of getting started. This hang-up is always grounded more in fear than reality; the truth is that clearing the bureaucratic hurdles isn’t usually a big deal.

  1. For Businesses With Moderate To Significant Overhead, It Is Crucial To Start The Business With Adequate Funds.

Starting a business without enough money to ride out the early lean days (described as “undercapitalization”) is the most common reason that businesses fail. Undercapitalization is less of an issue with small service-based businesses that don’t have many fixed expenses. But businesses with overhead such as rent, salaries for employees, utility bills, inventory, equipment, insurance, or other fixed costs absolutely need to plan carefully and pull together enough funding to support the fledgling business as it works up to speed.

  1. Forge Relationships With ContactsBeforeYou Need Help From Them.

For example, if you need the support of a local politician on an upcoming city zoning decision, you’ll have a better chance of getting the politician’s vote if he or she already knows you and thinks favorably of your business than if you place a call to his or her office out of the blue.