According to the US Chamber Foundation, a majority of women-owned businesses have less than 10 employees. Lack of access to capital, financial products, and credit prevents women from starting a company. But despite the grim picture, female-founded startups have doubled, and there are now more female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies than ever before. If you’re thinking of starting a business this year, you’re in the right place. Here are our top tips for becoming a successful female entrepreneur:
1. Have a Clear Vision
Successful entrepreneurs always know what they want to do long before they launch a business. They don’t focus on how things are today but on how they could be and work hard to make that a reality. When you clearly know what you want to achieve, you stay focused even when you face setbacks, roadblocks, and distractions.
A vision helps you stay on track and achieve your short-term and long-term goals. Without one, you don’t know your goals, important milestones, or what actions to take. A clear vision also helps you to inspire potential investors, motivate your team, and attract new clients. You may have to work long hours on some days, and that’s okay. A sleep patch can help you get some much-needed rest at night.
2. Identify a Market Opportunity
Research big markets that are ripe for disruption and take advantage of opportunities. Also, embrace new technology and use data. Investors may like your business idea, but if you don’t have data to back it up, they may decide not to invest. So, find out the exact market share you think you can capture over time.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks. You can’t prepare or predict the outcomes, so you must learn to make decisions based on incomplete information. To manage risks better, create a risk management plan and prepare for risks and threats. Also, buy insurance to limit liability. Implement a quality assurance program, avoid high-risk customers, and appoint a risk management team.
4. Believe in Yourself
When you believe in yourself, you don’t have to seek approval or acceptance from others. You’re confident about your success and are committed to overcoming failures and hardships. Great companies are not built in one day, so don’t let the ups and downs of entrepreneurship or people’s opinions steal your energy or dreams. Build resilience by preparing for setbacks early on.
5. Focus on the Results
Too many aspiring entrepreneurs focus on actions rather than results. Set big goals for yourself and your team and celebrate each milestone. As you work towards achieving your vision, you’ll have to complete many milestones. Instead of focusing on whether processes are being followed, find out if results are getting achieved. Are you gaining more customers? Are leads converting? Have sales increased?
The people you surround yourself with will determine the results you get. Hire and cultivate relationships with people who inspire, support, challenge, and motivate you–and also give you valuable feedback. Also, look for mentorship programs by top female entrepreneurs so you can learn from the best.