Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Starting a business can feel overwhelming.
But what if you could take what other women have learned and apply it at the start-up stage of your business?
Well, I have compiled a list of information gathered from other women in business, that they wish they would have known before starting their business. There is a lot of gold nuggets here take it, apply it, and be successful. The best way to succeed is by listening to those who have already made the journey and learn from both their mistakes and success. And although I do realize that men and women may face the same challenges with their startup, there are some things that are specific to women.
According to a SCORE article, women-owned business make up 39% of the 28 million small businesses currently in operation in the U.S. This percentage is expected to continue to grow. These businesses also employe around 9 million people and generated a total revenue of $1.6 Trillion.
From 1997-2017 women-owned businesses have grown 114%! This was taken from an article titled The 2017 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by American Express.
1. Timing is Everything
Yes, timing is everything!
Personally, I tried three times to start my business, the concept was great but the timing was not.
When it comes to timing you should consider your personal timing and the economy ~ whether consumers are ready for what you are offering.
In my case it was my personal timing that was off. And what I mean by that is what was going on in my life at the time. At the time I first tried I had a toddler and then got pregnant again, the second time we had to move, so the timing for me was off.
The economy is important too.
For example, AirBNB and Uber.
When AirBnB was looking for investors many passed on them because they didn’t think people would want to rent a room in their house to strangers. But because AirBNB came out during the recession, in 2008, it was a time when people needed extra money. Now it has an estimated worth of over $2B.
Uber also launched during the recession, when people needed extra money. Now, Uber has a valuation of $72B.
There’s a great video on how important timing is. In this video, Bill Gross did a study of 100 companies his company founded and 100 companies that were funded by other. Each company was ranked on a scale of 1-10 with five factors, idea, team, business model, funding, and timing.
The results were impressive.
So consider your personal timing and if consumers are ready.
2. Don’t play small because you’re a woman
Just because you’re a woman doesn't mean you have to back down or back up.
Now more than ever women are owning and becoming more and more influential in business.
And you can too!
According to an article by Lioness Magazine, “businesses led by women have dominated private growth in America since 2007”.
Women are very capable! Don’t shrink back, be aggressive and dominant growth!
3. Be proud of what you have done
Starting a business is a big deal!
The fact that you can start something and make a living out of it is a huge accomplishment in itself. Building something from the ground up is always something to be proud of.
4. Focus on Your Business
If you are a woman with a family you really need to focus on your business when you have the time to do so.
For Example, for me, as well as others female entrepreneurs, I focus on my business when my kids are in school. I don’t clean the house, or watch TV, or talk on the phone, etc. I just focus on working on my business.
Sometimes you’ll have to wake up super early while everyone is still in bed or work while everyone is asleep. And during those times you have to focus solely on your business.
5. Charge What You are Worth
Don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.
When you charge less than your worth, you will end up resenting the client, your business and the quality of your work will go down.
But by offering the right price you will have quality clients, be proud of the work you are doing, and you’ll be happy.
Remember people equate quality with price. So charge what you’re worth!
6. Not all Clients are Good Clients
Not all clients are clients you should work with.
My niece is trying to break out of the 9-5 and start her own interior design business. While she was contemplating how to get started an acquaintance called her up and asked her if she could design this hair salon. My niece jumped at the opportunity and saw this as a stepping stone to getting her own business off the ground.
One of the first things the client told her was that she had worked with two other designers, first red flag, and then told her because she had worked with others her budget was low, second red flag and there were more red flags. But my niece thought she would help her because she was an acquaintance. So she began working with this client and it was horrible, the client would call her at all hours expect things from her that my niece didn’t say she would do and eventually didn’t pay her the full amount they agreed to not to mention all the grief and headaches.
You need to consider this! Not all clients are good clients to work with and pay attention to the red flags you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and unnecessary stress.
7. Create an Actionable Marketing Plan
Marketing is so important!
In order to create a good marketing plan you’ll need to do some research.
Find out who are your competitors and who is your target market.
Your target market is your potential customer base.
When doing your market research, Andreea, founder of immigrant school, says, interview your target market.
This will give you valuable insight into your target market even give you information on what they do or don’t like about your competitors.
Once you have an idea of your ideal customer you can create a customer avatar. I got this idea through a blog by Reese Evans, titled Your Guide To Attract High Paying Coaching Clients On Autopilot. It’s a great read, very informative and you can apply it to your business.
This will help you get a better understanding of your customer.
8. Don’t be Invisible to Potential Clients
You might be thinking my product/service is great! It’s going to help my target market with x,y,z they are going to love it and come knocking at my door.
But the truth is, when you are just starting no one cares about you because they don’t know you.
I’m saying this not to discourage you! No one knows who you are. But this doesn’t mean you can’t become a valuable business. You need to show your potential clients that you are here, that you have a product/service that they need.
So don’t be invisible!
Put yourself where they can find you. This can be done with paid advertising or free marketing. There are a lot of tips out there that can help you get in front of your potential clients.
A few of my favorites are: