Advice for Women Entrepreneurs
What is one tip for women entrepreneurs looking to start a small business?
To help women in business get started on their ventures, we asked women business leaders this question for their insights. From connecting with other female entrepreneurs to getting access to capital, there are several tips from businesswomen to get a small business started.
Here are 13 tips for women entrepreneurs to start their own business:
- Remember It Takes Time
- Connect With Other Female Entrepreneurs
- Have Confidence in Yourself and Your Business
- Be the Face of Your Company
- Don’t Let Impostor Syndrome Hold You Back
- Get Access to Capital
- Join an Entrepreneur Network
- Start Before You’re Ready
- Build a Strong Team
- Don’t Skimp on Health Insurance
- Get Your Brand in Front of Your Audience
- Be Tenacious
- Scratch Your Own Itch
Remember It Takes Time
Before starting The Lash Professional, I ran multiple lash salons. I made sure that the salons were not only solvent but highly successful. Using earnings from my first business, I began my e-commerce business. While building your women-owned business, remember that it takes time to start making a profit. Don't drop everything. Instead, keep your day job and build your business after hours.
- Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional
Connect With Other Female Entrepreneurs
There are a lot of like-minded women who are starting businesses, and there are a lot of women-focused groups. Some are based locally, in an industry, or even nationwide. Participate in these groups to build a network with other female entrepreneurs. No one understands your predicament better than another female entrepreneur, whether it's introducing a new client, an investor, or someone to vent to about the problems of running a business.
- Vicky Franko, Insura
Have Confidence in Yourself and Your Business
To start a business as a woman, the most important weapon in your arsenal should be your confidence. You're almost there if you believe you can do it. Entrepreneurship does not follow any rigid structure and looks more like a staircase.
It's important to keep your faith and know that the difficult path ahead is worthwhile because the world needs your contribution. As women, we can help nurture an innovative business landscape that is diverse, tolerant, and looks to help the world.
- Alisha Taylor, Alisha Taylor Interiors
Be the Face of Your Company
As a business owner, you're likely to have your social media profiles viewed frequently. You can use a strong personal brand to increase the visibility of your small business. This will allow others to see you as a thoughtful, strategic leader and entrust your company even more.
- Kenna Hamm, Texas Adoption Center
Don’t Let Impostor Syndrome Hold You Back
One obstacle some women face when starting a business is ‘impostor syndrome,’ which can be debilitating. Second-guessing decisions and feeling full of anxiety can take a toll on their business idea’s progress. Remember that no one, not even yourself, should stand in the way when you believe what you are doing is worthwhile.
- Nataly Vanunu, Boho-Magic
Get Access to Capital
One important step in starting your small business is knowing how to access capital. This can be a major challenge for women business owners just starting out. First, make sure you have a relationship with your financial institution. This will be key when applying for funds, like a personal line of credit or a small business loan.
Second, create a strong business plan. You will need this when the time comes to borrow money. There are many challenges to starting a business, but not having access to capital shouldn’t be one of them.
- Jenn Christie, Markitors
Join an Entrepreneur Network
There are many entrepreneur networks available, but finding a network focused on women entrepreneurs can be beneficial. Women networking groups can provide you with game-changing advice and relationships to help scale your business to the next level.
Women in these networks have been placed in similar situations and faced similar struggles as other fledgling women entrepreneurs. An organization like the National Council of Negro Women is one organization that seeks to empower and advocate for women of African descent within their communities.
- Annette Harris, Harris Financial Coaching
Start Before You’re Ready
Perfectionists beware! Starting a small business is tough. There will always be a part of it that you are unprepared for. There will always be a reason to wait. Don't do that. Start before you're ready. You'll learn along the way and when you need help, ask. People want to help you when you are doing something difficult, like starting a business!
- Drew Lederman, Resist Nutrition
Build a Strong Team
One of my most important tips is to surround yourself with a strong team. As women in a historically male-dominated field, we can sometimes feel the need or want to do everything ourselves. However, delegation and facilitation of tasks is just as important as your own time investment. When starting out, identify the three most important facets of your business, and hire employees or virtual assistants accordingly. Specifically, I recommend focusing your recruitment efforts on:
- Digital marketing
- Finances and budgeting
- Production management
This will ensure that you have time to focus on innovation and needle-shifting growth.
- Inesa Ponomariovaite, Nesa's Hemp
Don’t Skimp on Health Insurance
Starting a small business can be expensive, but I remind friends to consider freelancing or starting their own business to invest in a quality and comprehensive health insurance plan. A plan that is comprehensive and includes annual screenings is especially important for women but is going to be nearly double what it had cost when she was employed at a company that sponsored the health insurance.
A lot of start-up blogs don't discuss this, likely because it's skewed male in the past. However, women should maintain annual check-ups and cancer screenings just as if they were still employed and covered by a company health insurance plan.
- Kristine Thorndyke, Test Prep Nerds
Get Your Brand in Front of Your Audience
Find ways to expose your brand to your target audience. One way to bring attention to your products is by offering free samples. Give products away at local events where your target audience will be attending. Form partnerships with established influencers who have a relationship with your target audience and can offer credibility to your products. Getting the word out about your business using samples will jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey and put you on the path to business success.
- Payel Gupta, Cleared
As a woman in business, it can often be difficult to break into some particular industries. However, as any woman knows, being tenacious is part of our DNA. We can harness that asset to ensure that we don't take ‘no’ for an answer and that we'll go back to the drawing board as many times as we need to. This drive not only propels us toward success but it sets an excellent example for the rest of the team, where you'll see creativity and productivity abound.
- Lindsay McCormick, Bite
Scratch Your Own Itch
The easiest way to get started for new founders is not by blindly searching for problems that haven't been solved but by acknowledging things in your personal life that you could improve. Anything that you aren't satisfied with, that doesn't exist, or is executed poorly is an opportunity and once you get in this mindset, it's much easier to find business ideas than trying to get results for broad brainstorming sessions.
- Sylvia Kang, Mira
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.