The Challenges Facing Women Entrepreneurs (and How to Overcome Them)

Over the past two decades, the wide variety of women-owned agencies has grown 114 percentage, consistent with a 2017 file by way of American Express. That’s extra than 2.five instances the country wide increase price for all groups. On pinnacle of that, girls now personal one in five companies bringing in $1 million or greater in sales.

Yet, there are nonetheless many limitations quite particular to girls marketers. If you’re trying to take the plunge, here are five challenges you can locate yourself facing—and recommendation for a way to conquer them.

Challenge 1: Getting comfortable with chance 

When a female starts a commercial enterprise, it’s frequently the “first time in her lifestyles that she is absolutely banking on herself,” says business train Ali Brown, host of the Glambition podcast. Brown has observed that ladies typically fall into one in all two camps: Some dip their ft in the water and get in slowly, at the same time as others dive in headfirst after having an concept.

If you’re in the first cohort and are having problem getting yourself going, make the effort to parent out why. It might not be about the money on the line, however different factors: For example, worry of what your own family will suppose, or nerves in relation to promoting your idea in the front of human beings. Journaling the system can often be revealing, Brown says–and the solution to what’s protecting you back may surprise you.

Other ladies discover leaping all of the manner in is necessary to get started out. That might also imply telling others what you’re doing that will keep you accountable or amass a start-up slush fund to your business. If you can meet with girls who've taken this path before you, they is probably able to deliver direction and suggest on which risks make sense. They can say, “It would possibly appear to be you’re jumping off a cliff, however right here are the parachutes you have in location which you won't even recognise,” says Lisa Schiffman, global lead of EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women, a country wide competition and govt training application for girls entrepreneurs 

Challenge 2: Setting the bar too low

“In our revel in, many ladies underestimate what they could accomplish,” says Schiffman. She says that occasionally, women create interesting agencies with out knowing how a hit their corporations have the potential to be. Many ladies, says Brown, start groups in the “hobby mindset,” meaning they’re trying to avoid risk and simply make extra cash. That’s a totally valid aim, however it’s also okay to have grander visions 

If you’ve got larger dreams, it’s a great idea to create personalized lengthy-time period goals for yourself, then “opposite-engineer” them to determine out what you can do to get there, says Alison Koplar Wyatt, president of Girlboss. Steadily take a look at off benchmarks on the manner to your dreams whilst doing your quality to construct for your strengths—and surround yourself with supportive women who want to peer you succeed.

Challenge three: Surrounding your self with the proper people

You may additionally need to spherical up a sponsor or two. There is a difference among mentors and sponsors. Mentors are human beings you may visit for advice, while sponsors are humans with sufficient accept as true with to your capacity that they’ll propose for you while you’re now not in a room. Most importantly, they’ll also help you get to the next step on your goals. “Women will be predisposed to gather mentors,” says Wyatt. “Men cross after sponsors.” If you sense like you’re racking up mentors, ask those you’re closest to in the event that they’ll function your “ambassador”—maintaining an ear to the ground for possibilities that would assist you get towards your desires (or the economic aid to assist your budding business).

Having a supportive network also can be a key tool for building your business, specifically in terms of speakme brazenly approximately money. The struggle: “Most people don’t have circles in which we are able to try this,” says Brown. That’s why seeking out an area that lets in you to freely percentage what’s happening to your commercial enterprise—and change pieces of advice—is so important. “The biggest mistake I see is ladies networking at too low of a degree,” says Brown. Aim better by asking approximately meetings you need to attend or companies you must follow to be a part of. Then take a deep breath and invite the girl you’ve been admiring from afar for coffee or lunch. “See what achievement seems like near-up,” says Schiffman. 

Challenge four: Securing the cash

The final mission on this list may be the hardest to surmount. It’s often extra hard for ladies to stable funding for his or her large ideas. One purpose is that assignment capitalists generally tend to spend money on men for his or her capability, but choose ladies via their modern performance, says Wyatt. 

Changing that belief calls for two matters. First, you want a clear vision. Whether you’re making use of for a bank mortgage or trying to spherical up angel investors, you need to be ready with the answer to 3 questions:

  • What you want your business enterprise to look like in 5 years?
  • How will this change the panorama of its industry?
  • How huge–in revenue terms–does it have the capability to come to be?

While Wyatt changed into fundraising for Girlboss, a challenge capitalist pulled her apart to tell her: “You must appear which you simply understand this is going to be large… Don’t display any sort of disbelief in what the final results’s going to be.” She says guys tend to be greater affirmative of their beliefs approximately themselves and ability outcomes, even as girls tend to be greater sincere of their assessment of danger. When it comes to fundraising, self assurance could make all of the distinction.

Secondly, you want a rock-stable draw close of your numbers. You’re now not just aiming to memorize your projections, but also to absolutely recognize the standards. Data suggests women tend to get hold of extra questions about their businesses’ price range than men do, says Wyatt, so be prepared to reply any questions that could come your way.

Finally, while you do go out to locate investment, make certain you ask for sufficient. Research shows fewer ladies than guys solicit task capital funding, and after they do, they consciousness on what they may want, in preference to what they should get, says Wyatt. Then, when there’s a massive possibility–be it increasing into a brand new area or buying a competitor–they don’t have the assets to continue. Don’t let that do you in: Get that cash when you have the hazard.

With Hayden Field