After women joined the employed, they had two choices – to stay at home and manage their families or to become part of the workforce and manage their jobs. Things have undergone a significant change and nowadays, women are increasingly choosing the third path – staying at home and managing their work independently.
Women entrepreneurs – the concept is nothing new. Eliza Lucas Pinckney, the first woman to be inducted into South Carolina’s Business Hall of Fame, took over the management of her father’s plantations as early as 1739, where she developed indigo as one of its most important cash crops. And today, there are a dearth of women led businesses.
What prompts a woman to take up the challenge of becoming a successful entrepreneur? The main reason is the flexibility that being your own boss offers. Below I have shared a few tips for today’s women entrepreneurs.
10 Tips for Women Entrepreneurs to Stay on Track
Take Up Something You Have a Passion For
Even the best idea cannot translate into a successful business if you are not passionate about it. You need to focus on the area of work you love as only then will you put in the required effort to build a business based on it. If you do not have an interest in designer wear, it is a bad idea to start a haute couture business.
Trust Your Instincts
Facts and stats may help you prepare the groundwork. But they may not work at every step. It is a good idea to rely on your instincts at times and many successful entrepreneurs, male and female, can vouch for this. This does not mean that you ignore all of the feedback you receive. Remain open-minded to positive opinions as well as the negative ones.
Prepare a Business Plan
A sailor is lost without a map. Similarly, an entrepreneur is lost without a business plan. If you do not have a business plan yet, it is high time to create one. It will set the steps you need to follow to succeed. It will also convince investors that you are serious about your endeavor.
Hoard the Cash
Life is not a bed of roses and neither is business. Keep in mind, there will be ups and downs from day one. It is important to accumulate as much cash as possible before you take the first step. You will need it to keep you and your business afloat for a while once you enter the world of the self-employed.
Learn as Much as Possible About Finances
It is always best to hire an accountant to work with you when you first start a business, man or woman. It is also important to learn about taxes and related matters to ensure that they do not become a problem for you later on down the line.
Know Your Target Customers
Who do you target to sell to? For example, if you are into haute couture, you need to focus on the modern day fashion conscious female. Create contacts and conduct surveys to know all that you need to know about your customers. This will help you learn to address their needs/wants and provide suitable products/services.
Build Relationships with Outsourcing Partners
For a majority of new entrepreneurs, it may be best to outsource the tasks that take up too much time and effort and yet, are not related to your core business area. Keep in mind that the providers are your partners; they work with you, not for you.
Set Realistic Goals
If you think that you are going to earn profits within a week of starting a business, you are not on track. Many times, new businesses take months or even years to get back the cash originally invested. Take one step at a time and set achievable goals. Nothing beats hard work.
The best and easiest way to get help from others is to help them first. A business is as much about value creation as it is about profits. Contribute in any way you can. Introduce people to each other, create write-ups, suggest important events and do everything to extend help.
Most Importantly – Believe in Yourself
There is no secret to success for the self-employed. The only thing that works is a good combination of planning and hard work. Whatever you do, don’t give up. A business can experience highs and lows. Just don’t let them discourage you into quitting.
A woman has the best chances of success as an entrepreneur if she knows how to create the right balance. It is necessary to plan well and involve people who will be honest and supportive throughout the ups and downs of your new business.
Track Photo via Shutterstock
More in: Women Entrepreneurs