How to succeed as a female entrepreneur by overcoming all obstacles
The good news is that despite all the obstacles, women in India and around the world have been trying to shed this traditional mold and are making their mark as successful businesswomen.
Women entrepreneurs are gradually making their mark on a global scale. Image courtesy of Corporal Natalie Rostran/Wikimedia Commons
Being an entrepreneur is difficult. But what is more difficult than being an entrepreneur is being a female entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs solid capital, excellent social networks and effective legal support to help start the business, whether big or small. Although the current scenario of women-owned businesses is healthier today than it has ever been in the past, women entrepreneurs still face clear inequalities. If we talk about the scenario in India, women entrepreneurs are expected to not only run a full-time business but also keep a house.
But wait, don’t despair!
The good news is that despite all the obstacles, women in India and around the world have been trying to shed this traditional mold and are making their mark as successful businesswomen. If we go by the statistics, according to the latest report of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 252 million entrepreneurs out of approximately 582 million in the world are women. Added to the 153 million women who have already run businesses, we can see the impact of women on business. Research also shows that women now make up 41% of the global workforce and control over $20 trillion in annual spending. According to forecasts, this figure will reach 28 trillion dollars in the next few years.
As a female entrepreneur myself, with roots in India but based in Dubai, I can safely say things are changing. Today’s women dare to take the plunge; they prefer to be their own bosses and want to change lives and transform society. As in India, in Dubai too, there has been an increase in the number of female entrepreneurs and funding for new businesses. A quick look at Forbes’ 50 Most Promising Startups reveals that women are leading some of the region’s most important new ventures. We can observe a phenomenal growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), run by locals and expatriates.
Based on my experience running several successful businesses, here are six tips that have really worked for me. Whether you’re looking forward to taking the very next steps in the business world or you’re already an established businesswoman, these mantras are sure to help you succeed.
Stay true to your vision
You will discover many exciting things in the process of starting your own business. It’s easy to get distracted because your business is like your baby. Make sure you keep a clear vision of your business. Failure is part of any new beginning, but a million hardships shouldn’t be enough to stop you. Never underestimate your abilities when running your business. Keep short achievable goals that will gradually lead you towards your dream. Staying committed to your vision will keep you focused and help you grow. And when you realize your business is doing well, keep doing the things that make your business successful.
Know your target audience
One of the things you’ll need to stay consistent is your understanding of your target audience. Having a deep and ever-changing understanding of your audience will help you make effective decisions. Many entrepreneurs often create businesses, products and brands without defining their target audience. Your target audience is not just the customer, but your employees, peers, influencers, etc. – all of which will be trumps in different ways. Always remember that everyone loves a business that understands their changing needs and trends. Success would require business agility, with a desire to learn and adapt to new procedures or technologies that can take their business to the next level.
Understand your finances
Cash flow is by far the biggest challenge for many entrepreneurs, not just women but also men. Knowing how much money your business can spend can help you prioritize what’s most important. Having a financial backup is very important – this can be done by planning a budget and setting a time each month to review finances. It may sound scary, but you have to be extremely careful with debt – it’s one of the biggest business dream killers.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you want to build a successful business, you need help. Whether you’re faced with a task you don’t know how to do, you don’t have enough hours in the day, or you’re simply exhausted, don’t hesitate to ask for help and reach out to your network of friends, family and professionals. A healthy network is the key to a successful business. You need to overcome your fear of rejection and ask for help as if it were part of your job.
Never stop learning
Learning is something no entrepreneur should stop doing. The moment an entrepreneur stops wanting to learn new things is when problems arise. Running a successful business shouldn’t be an ego trip. Whether it’s continuing to master a talent or learning a new one, continuous learning creates room for improvement, new ideas and opportunities. It is very important to be empathetic, encouraging and empowering in your entrepreneurial endeavors.
Take care of yourself
A good work-life balance can improve your physical, emotional and mental health. Follow your routine religiously – don’t skip meals, eat on time, make time for exercise, and get enough sleep. Otherwise, your job as an entrepreneur will inevitably become more difficult. Take breaks to avoid frustration and burnout. It can be as small as a lunch break during office hours or something bigger like a vacation. This special time reserved for taking care of yourself will have a positive impact on your work and your way of life.
The author is the founder and CEO of Contemporary Connect. Views are personal.
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