Women business owners face a different set of challenges than their male counterparts. In a prior blog, the hurdles range from societal obstacles and misperceptions to a lower rate of acceptance for small business loans.
The reality is, women business owners represent a growing segment of the small business sector. They have the talent, drive, vision, and leadership to be exceedingly successful in the business world.
What should women who are would-be business owners know before going into the work? Here are six things women small business owners should know.
1. Obstacles Are Opportunities to Learn
Each setback is an ideal opportunity for women entrepreneurs to learn. Lessons you take away from each roadblock help to inform your future decision-making and provide perspective that will serve you well in the long run. While obstacles can appear formidable and frustrating, they are great teachable moments, too.
2. It Will Be Difficult
Starting your own business is not about putting out the "Open For Business" sign, flipping on a website, and waiting for the revenue to pile in. Starting and thriving in a small business is a lot of work and often is not easy. However, the challenges are merely hurdles, not impenetrable barriers. Your success will taste even sweeter when you have solved problems, developed solutions, and seen financial growth.
3. Asking for Help Is a Strength
No one’s business success is singular. Every successful entrepreneur has had to ask for guidance, advice, perspective, or other insights at various times, but particularly in the early days of a business.
Building a group of formal and informal advisors is a smart move. These advisors may include your legal and financial advisors, your investors, and even friends and family. Learning when to seek help and how to interpret different or, at times conflicting, advice is an important skill that often is acquired on the job.
4. There Is No Right Time
As seen in the recent article, Small Business Tips: 20 Things Every New Owner Should Know, there are many naysayers and economic conditions that can dissuade entrepreneurs from taking the dive. The reality is you can always find a reason not to launch the business. The key is to size up the obstacles, realize there will constantly be reasons not to do it … and go for it anyway.
5. There Are Great Resources
The U.S. Small Business Administration and many state and local governments have great programs available to help women-owned businesses to thrive. From certification programs and mentorship programs to loans and access to government agency contract possibilities, these resources can help give women a head start.
6. Plan for Growth
A study by Insureon showed that 18 percent of business owners did not have a plan for business growth. However, 68 percent of those respondents were women. Having a plan for growing your business is just as critical is the plan to open your business. With the right guidance and resources, women achieve both.
Benetrends has been an industry leader in developing small business loans for women. Our unique approach leverages your existing 401(k) or IRA funds to create tax- and penalty-free options that rapidly get small business owners the funds they need. To learn more about how Benetrends can help create funding strategies that propel growth, download Innovative Funding Strategies For Entrepreneurs.