Despite the daunting nature of starting a business, it remains a career path that many women aspire to pursue. According to a March report from American Express OPEN, over the last 14 years, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has increased by 50%, which is 1.5 times the national average. As of 2011, there are estimated to be over 8.1 million U.S. businesses owned by women, generating $1.3 trillion in revenue.
However, despite this growth, a significant gender gap persists in women-owned businesses. These businesses are less likely to have employees compared to those owned by men, and they tend to have much lower average revenues and sales growth.
To navigate the challenges of launching their own companies, women entrepreneurs can benefit from the wisdom and experience of those who have succeeded in the field. Camille Johnson of Pink Ribbon Lingerie and Isobel Beauchamp of DegreeArt, two successful entrepreneurs, share their insights and offer valuable advice for aspiring female business owners. Here are five key tips from these accomplished women:
1. There may never be a right time: Waiting for the “perfect” time to start a business is futile. The reality is that there will always be obstacles and uncertainties. Whether it’s economic conditions, personal circumstances, or self-doubt, there will never be an ideal moment to launch a startup. Instead of waiting for conditions to align perfectly, embrace the challenges and forge ahead.
2. You can ask for help: Building a support network is crucial for success. Don’t hesitate to lean on friends and family for assistance, whether it’s for emotional support, feedback, or practical help like babysitting. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness but a demonstration of strength and resourcefulness.
3. Your online presence is your storefront. In today’s digital age, your online presence plays a critical role in shaping your brand’s image. It’s essential to maintain a strong presence across various online platforms, including social media, websites, and online communities. Every interaction with potential customers is an opportunity to make a positive impression and build brand credibility.
4. Be resilient: Entrepreneurship is fraught with challenges, but resilience is key to overcoming obstacles. Instead of viewing setbacks as insurmountable barriers, see them as temporary hurdles on the path to success. Develop the tenacity to persevere in the face of adversity and bounce back stronger than before.
5. Be fearless: Taking risks is an inherent part of entrepreneurship. Embrace fearlessness and be willing to take bold steps to realize your vision. Whether it’s self-funding your startup or pursuing unconventional strategies to secure funding, don’t let fear hold you back. Trust in your abilities and have the courage to pursue your goals relentlessly.
In conclusion, women entrepreneurs play a vital role in driving economic growth and innovation. By following these tips and embracing the challenges of entrepreneurship, women can unlock their full potential and contribute to creating a brighter future for themselves and their communities.