October is National Women's Small Business Month. It is well understood that small businesses drive the US economy; in fact, small businesses that are formed with fewer than 500 employees provide jobs for over half of the nation's workforce. Women have come a long way in small business, and it calls for a celebration!
Where until the 1980s, when it was common for women to be rejected for business loans without a co-signature of a male relative, today:
However, women in business may still find it more difficult than their male counterparts when it comes to certain things, such as:
Defying social expectations
Unequal access to funding and venture capital
Struggling with gender stereotypes
Given fair credit for accomplishments
Lack of local role models and mentors
Balancing business and family life
Lack of female Investors
Here are some tips to help our women entrepreneurs
1. Live Your Story: Do not try to be someone else. Be authentic to yourself and live your own story; it will help you remain consistent and allow you to stay focused on specific goals.. Does anything feel better than knowing that you are appreciated for being the way you are?
2. No Room for Negativity: Any kind of negativity will only negate success. Listing out a few common ones:
- Ignorance: The world is full of opportunities, and not realizing and believing in these opportunities will push you towards mediocrity. Stay aware and stay inspired.
- Jealousy: The most evil of all human emotions, jealousy hinders opportunities to learn from others and pushes you away from your goals.
- Apathy: Indecision and lack of interest will deter you from reaching your business and personal goals. Find out what motivates you, and be sure to keep things fresh to avoid burnout.
3. Don't be afraid to fail: it’s easier said than done, but even failure wins you experience, knowledge, and recognition while fear only causes anxiety and inaction. Taking calculated risks goes hand in hand with successful entrepreneurship.
4. Find a Mentor: Entrepreneurship is often a lonely journey, and can be even more so for women owing to various socio-economic factors. Finding a mentor may make things a bit smoother, as you will have someone to hold you accountable for your goals!
"One of the greatest values of mentors is the ability to see ahead what others cannot see and to help them navigate a course to their destination." — John C. Maxwell"
Fortunately, women have come a long way in business now and finding a mentor who understands you, and has shared a similar journey, can bring unparalleled advantages. Not only can they see the path ahead, but they can help you stay motivated and not give up.
5. Hone your skills: Continuous sharpening of skills and feeding yourself with information ensures engagement and action at the right time and place. The world is ever-changing and, regardless of what industry you are in, information changes all the time. To succeed, you must keep updated with the latest trends and happenings in your field.
6. Networking with other women: Networking helps you connect with like-minded people. It may also help to find support and mentorship as they might have once been in your shoes.
7. Hire a good accountant: Keen financial awareness is a must for any business, and it's always advisable to invest in a good accountant. A good accountant can provide vital financial input so you can be proactive with sound business decisions.
8. Learn to Delegate: As Sir Richard Branson said in this blog post:
"Most entrepreneurs are driven personalities, but you can't overcome challenges and bring new ideas to the market through the sheer force of personality alone. You need to learn to delegate so that you can focus on the big picture."
You must learn to delegate tasks if you want to grow your business. Understand that you alone can only do so much, and delegation will allow you to hand off smaller tasks so that you can focus on running and growing your business.
We at LoanMe understand that, owing to several different factors, securing funding for a small business can still be a very daunting task for women. For more information about the benefits of a small business loan from LoanMe, such as lowering your fees by consolidating debt and the possibility of receiving your money in hours (rather than days), please contact one of our specialists.