Female entrepreneurs are a force to be reckoned with in 2018. Women are starting more and more businesses every year and have made great strides in securing their head seat at the table. With all the growth that has been made, women entrepreneurs still face many challenges that their male counterparts do not.
According to a report by Senator Jeanne Shaheen, women-owned businesses do not grow as quickly, receive as much revenue or receive as much funding as male-led companies.
For anyone starting their own business, there will always be obstacles to overcome but there are a few extra hurdles women must jump over on their road to success. We asked 5 powerful and successful women, leading their own companies, their top advice for women entrepreneurs just starting out and here is what they shared.
When you are first developing your business, focus 100% on your customer — what they want and what would best for them — instead of what would be good for you and your business. You always have to use this as your touchstone, even as your business grows and particularly when you build your team. This laser focus on the customer will keep you making decisions that gracefully balance profitability and customer loyalty.
Women, thinking they are being smart/honest/reasonable, tend to underestimate the potential and long-term value of their businesses. Our male counterparts tend to overestimate.
So, wherever you sit in your business trajectory, just beginning or a couple of years in, stop for a second and think of what it would mean to be 10x your size and scope. What does that business look like? Is that a dream that excites you? If so, immediately start talking about your business that way, planning for that growth, and don’t underplay your power and potential. (For example, we didn’t talk about our business as a wedding blog, we talked about it as a women’s media platform, that was starting with winning market share in weddings.) This is particularly critical if you are raising venture capital. Be bold! Be bullish!
Carley is the Co-Founder of The Knot and XO Group Inc., Board Member, Author, Female Entrepreneur Advocate and Social Entrepreneur Investor.
Gather your support system. There will be huge wins and some big bumps in the road and you want to have those key people in your life that are going to celebrate with you, help you pick up the pieces, and encourage you to keep moving. Who you surround yourself with is everything.”
Brittney is the Founder & CEO of Financially Wise Women, Chase Financial Education Ambassador, and a CFP® Board Spokeswoman
When you’re starting out it can be so easy to look at what others are doing and just copy their style. While this is ok in moderation, too much of it will strip you of your confidence and make you feel like a fraud in the process. Stay in your lane and work on finding your own voice and style. It won’t be perfect initially and you will make mistakes but eventually, you will find a rhythm. Once that happens, people will connect with you and your brand because it’s truly authentic.
Evamarie is a Certified Professional Coach who empowers women to overcome perfectionism and cultivate their business and professional path from a place of intention.
My top advice for women entrepreneurs just starting out is to make sure you surround yourself with the right team, start with the right business structure and believe in your brand, product or service regardless. Focus on what generates the most money, creates the most lasting experience for your guests and clients and block out what other people are doing/saying, period!
Make sure it’s family first, business second and with every business decision ask yourself – is it urgent, is it important, or can it wait?
Lastly – ask for help when you need it because sometimes as you juggle family life and business it can get overwhelming however, don’t feel inadequate or incompetent if it’s not all falling into place, it’s normal, deal with it and just keep moving.
Camilita is the Founder & President of Event of Champions®, a 7-Time Award Winning Corporate Sales & Business Growth Expert, Business Mentor, Entrepreneur, Author & Property Investor.
My top advice for women entrepreneurs just starting out actually applies to all entrepreneurs who are beginning their business journey: it’s not enough to simply focus on taking action. You’ve got to focus on your mindset as well.
Mindset work and action taking go hand in hand: identify any fears, blocks, or limiting beliefs that you may have as you’re building your business, and do the work to change your beliefs so that they support you, rather than hinder you or keep you stuck.
By mindset work, I don’t mean positive thinking or affirmations, but rather deep work that creates big change at the subconscious level, using techniques like PSYCH-K®, EFT™ (Emotional Freedom Technique), or NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming). Creating a mindset that truly supports our goals and our big vision makes it easier to take the right actions we need to take to build our business and grow as entrepreneurs.”
Holly is an Author, Podcaster and Business Mindset Coach for Female Entrepreneurs.
These women are an inspiration. Anytime you may feel defeated refer back here to their advice to give you that push to keep going!
We would love to hear from you. Share your advice in the comments below!