Compared to 2001, there are more than two times as many women-owned businesses in America today, making up nearly 40% of all businesses. Statistically speaking, women are also better at self-financing, as female business owners only seek financing 25% of the time, and when they do, they seek an average of $35,000 less than their male counterparts.
There are elements of the glass ceiling that come into play with those latter numbers, too, as men are still more likely to receive a loan even with the same parameters as a female seeking the same. However, there is still plenty of reason for optimism for female business owners, and the time has never been better to shatter that glass ceiling by starting your own business and leaving the “having a boss” life behind… and women-owned companies in the U.S. generated a whopping $1.8 trillion last year! That trend is only continuing to rise, and here are 7 tips to help you become part of that $1.8 trillion market.
Mistakes are as common as successes when starting a new business, but not every entrepreneur knows when they’ve made one. You can’t learn from something if you don’t know you’ve errored. Having a blunt friend is a great advantage, but even if you don’t have that pal who always tells you like it is, being vocal with your team and potential customers about wanting to improve will make them more willing to share advice on how you can do just that. The more people you can get to provide you feedback, the more well-rounded your business will be.
Find a Mentor in Your Field
Depending on your locale and business, the potential matches for a mentor may be scarce, but any female business owner can teach you about some of the struggles of overcoming the disadvantages of being a woman in the business world, no matter their M.O. If you do have a larger pool of possible mentors, really try to match as many things as you can. Age similarities are good to look for, as well as things like black-owned and Hispanic-owned if that matches your own path.
Depending on what type of entrepreneurship you’re involved in, creating a blog may be a stellar way to increase the web traffic to your theoretical website (and more on that later), but regardless of whether writing a blog fits your model or not, reading them can be a fantastic source of knowledge from other female business owners. Some popular ones to start with are the “She Owns It blog” and “Women Who Startup”, but the list is encouragingly long, and your own blog might just become one of the popular ones!
Cut Some Ties
If you have negative people in your life, even if they pretend to be joking when they say things like, “You’re not really starting a business, are you?” you don’t need them around, and shouldn’t have them around. Surround yourself with motivators and cut the proverbial fat. Negativity shouldn’t be anywhere near a budding business, because your budding business is awesome.
Network All the Time
If you see a female business owner while you’re out and about in your daily life, say hi and tell them about your business! One of the few silver linings that lies in the fact that it’s more difficult to own a business in the United States if you’re a woman is that all of these other women struggled too, giving you an immediate talking point based on respect for taking on a massive challenge, one much larger than male counterparts face when opening a business. No place on Earth is devoid of a networking opportunity.
Closed Mouths Don’t Eat
If you’re not excited about your business, you should probably reconsider starting it. But for those of you who are excited about it, tell everyone! There is a very good chance they’ll be excited too, and it’s a very well-reported trend that more people are choosing small businesses in the post-COVID era than were before the pandemic. It’s a good time for the little woman!
Maximize Online Potential
Another post-COVID expected trend is the continuation of online shopping, which, for obvious reasons, took a huge leap in 2020 when storefronts were forced to shut their doors. With this, even if you provide a service and not a product, make sure it is available everywhere online. Social media services like Instagram and Facebook have sponsored ad options that are very affordable and allow potential consumers to click one button and be on your sales page. Linktree is also a great, free service that allows you to share one, very short URL linking to all of your social media services and your website.
For services, find a way to provide it online. You may have to be creative, but Zoom and programs of the like allow people to provide consultation, education, and much more. Even healthcare took a huge turn towards remote work during the pandemic, and with travel expenses saved, more customers may consider buying your service if they can get it in their own home.
Ultimately, all 7 of these tips can be maximized online in some instance, and staying current with trends in female entrepreneurship are usually just a click away, so be sure to make it a part of your routine!