Being a female entrepreneur in a business world full of aggressive men can be intimidating. However, there is no rule that says that women can't be just as successful in the small business industry. Many women have been profitable in the small business, and with good reason.
With the proper training, planning and financial means, anyone can jump start a career in entrepreneurship. However, being a women in the small business industry does come with certain responsibilities and unique obstacles. In order to make it easier to launch a small business, Forbes recommends taking the following steps into consideration:
Women are faced with unique challenges in the business world.
Consider hiring an accountant. Regardless of how much experience you have with crunching numbers, it may be in your best interest to hire a professional to help you manage your finances. Although your small business might be easy to handle early-on, it will become more difficult for you to juggle your finances as it continues to grow. Instead of adding stress to your daily life, consider hiring an accountant to stay on top of the numbers. Your financial situation is not something you can afford to let fall by the wayside as you attempt to increase your bottom line.
Hone in on your priorities in regards to staffing. Oftentimes, women business owners are guilty of being slow to hire and promote their staff members because they treat their employees too kindly. Although there is nothing wrong with being compassionate, it is important to keep business matters on a personal level.
"The hardest thing for women has been the human capital side," Maria Coyne, founder of the Key4Women program, told the news source. "Women business owners treat employees like family and are slow to make decisions around staffing."
Small business owners can overcome this obstacle by honing in on the purpose of each employee and finding ways that they can further benefit the company.
Consider hiring contract workers. Oftentimes, first-time entrepreneurs are nervous about hiring their initial staff. However, not every instance has to turn into a permanent solution when it comes to hiring employees. Some of the best resources for women in business are contract workers. Although these individuals are meant to be temporary help, they can possess certain skills that may benefit a small business over time. In the end, you may even want to turn these people into full-time staffers who can help you propel your company in the future.
Utilize the internet. Male and female small business owners alike find similar success through the use of new technology. Specifically, the internet can help you brand your business and expand your client base in a limited amount of time.
"Business owners want to connect in a way that's meaningful," Coyne told the news source. "This is an area that we continue to innovate in ourselves."
Small business owners should consider creating a profile on a social networking website, such as Twitter or Facebook, to increase their chances of reaching out to potential consumers. Creating a personal connection with clients may also increase customer retention.
Create an advisory group. Some of the most successful female entrepreneurs have improved their businesses through creating an advisory group. Through this method, individuals can make sure they are staying up to date on industry trends and running with competitors. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to talk to other businesses and work with companies in the field to stay in the loop. Falling behind can ultimately result in the failure of a small business, regardless of how long it's been in operation.
Anticipate the brunt of stereotypes. Unfortunately, stereotypes are still alive and well, especially in the small business industry. However, this doesn't mean that you should succumb to the ignorance of others. As a female entrepreneur, you may find others to be skeptical of your chances of success in the industry. The most proactive thing you can do is anticipate these stereotypes and approach them head-on. Learn to pick and choose your battles - being aggressive is only acceptable in certain situations. However, a passive-aggressive attitude can also leave you in the dust.
Stay on the look-out for new trends. Part of keeping up with competitors is making sure your small business is in-the-know about market trends. This means doing your research and constantly staying on top of news about any industry changes that may be occurring.
Learn to distinguish fads and trends to make sure you don't sink your business on a temporary demand from customers. Trends fall more in line with interests that have been around for awhile and can be seen almost anywhere. Fads can be defined as demands that come and go on a rapid basis. Don't invest an ample amount of time and money into fads to play it safe.
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