Women are becoming entrepreneurs at a rate faster than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women are taking the entrepreneurial bull by the horns. Over the last 17 years, women-owned businesses have increased by the rate of 68% since 1997, with more than 9.1 million businesses owned by women in 2014 – up from 8.6 million in 2013. This pace, which has doubled in three years, has helped to generate nearly $1.5 trillion in revenues for women-owned businesses. Women are choosing the path of entrepreneurship at record rates.
So, what are some of the reasons why women make good entrepreneurs and do you see yourself in any of the descriptions?
1. Women have strong communication skills. Women have a great ability to network and build relationships and will have resources available when needed.
2. Women are great listeners and many times are more open-minded. Women listen with their eyes and ears, collaborate more easily and present open-minded advice and suggestions.
3. Women cooperate and can work as a team with their clients. Again, collaboration is a big deal with women and they do not believe a project is completed until everyone’s part is accounted for. If someone is struggling, another woman on the team will generally offer her assistance to make sure everything and everyone is accounted for.
4. Women aren’t afraid to ask questions. This will help women succeed in business. They are not only getting answers, they are building relationships, another important quality of women entrepreneurs.
Growing Success as an Entrepreneur
As entrepreneurs, we are all unique and want to stand out in a crowd, but we also like to fit in at times. So, if you are an entrepreneur (translation: a crazy risk-taker who doesn’t give up), how about if I share some of the traits that will help you succeed in your quest?
Have the Right Mindset.
You’ve heard it before and you’ll hear it over and over again. You need to be flexible, roll with the punches and expect the unexpected. For me, when things get a little bumpy, I do my best to keep my emotions in check. Yet, sometimes the best thing to do is give yourself permission to have a
eye-puffy cry while watching a mindless program on TV. However, this cannot be a weekend kind of behavior. This is where you need to be more like a guy – get over it and move on. Find your big girl panties and remember why you decided to be an entrepreneur in the first place and get that mindset back on track.
What Is It That You Are Going to Provide to Your Market?
If you can anticipate and be prepared to answer client objections, you’re ahead of the game. But many times we may not see something coming. Understand that it may take some time to make things happen. You might take one step forward and a few more back, but keep things in perspective and put one foot in front of the other and continue on your path. When I first began in this business, I was pretty sure I knew what to expect, after all I lived the life of the only woman in a male-dominated world. Yet, the unexpected found its way to me at times and I had to find my way to roll through it.
How Will You Get Your Name, Your Business, Your Products and Service Out There?
Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs overlook this step – the marketing. As women, we rely on our relationships to spread the word, and while we do make referrals 92% of the time, marketing is an activity that needs to be on your calendar, more than once in a blue moon. Be crystal clear on your message as well as who needs to hear that message. Whether you are marketing online or offline, consistency is key. You need to be on the minds of many so that when they need retirement planning, they know who exactly who to turn to. Marketing is a big deal.
Most Importantly, Believe in Yourself and Never Give Up.
We all know that women are not the best at tooting their own horn. When it comes to being an entrepreneur though, you need to believe in yourself and what you are offering. Or who will? You have a message to share. What you offer is valuable and don’t let anyone talk you out of it.
Statistics show that 90% of businesses fail in their first 10 years. This is simply because it’s not easy. While you may feel like one of those silver balls in a pinball machine, bouncing from one thing to the next, rest assured that it is all part of doing business. The key is not to lose the drive and enthusiasm that brought you to the dance.
Stay focused, dedicated and remember your “why” and you too will be one of those amazing women who changed people’s lives.
Women are really making things happen in the world of entrepreneurs! Statistics show that women are good at business. So why not try to encourage more of this and perhaps start our kids on the road to their own brilliance? Ever wish you woulda, coulda, shoulda started your business sooner? You are never too young to start and here are some ideas:
1. Allow kids to brainstorm and let them dream BIG.
2. Coach them on goal setting. Take those dreams and focus on what goals they will need to reach and hold them accountable.
3. Support their successes and redirect their failures to new opportunities.
4. Introduce them to a business plan even if it is a simple outline to give them structure.
5. Invest in them. Let them earn money so they understand the process and how it exchanges hands.