While many lucrative fields and positions of power do not welcome women, Entrepreneurship is a field that does not discriminate. While it is probably the most daring career choice to make, entrepreneurship rewards competent dynamic individuals and is meritocratic in that sense. In the past decade, several women entrepreneurs have already been able to make a mark in the entrepreneurship ecosystem globally.
What if I say “Women are better entrepreneurs than men”? This statement can trigger a never-ending debate. But this has already been proven. According to First Round Capital, companies with a female founder performed 63% better than investments with all-male founding teams. On contrary, Harvard Business Review says, fewer than 5% of all VC-funded firms have women on their executive teams, and only 2.7% had a female CEO.
Tips for budding women entrepreneurs
So coming back to the main topic, I would like to list down a few tips for budding women entrepreneurs and especially for the young women who are aspiring to be starting their entrepreneurial journey.
1. Know the market
This requires a lot of reading and staying updated. You may need to get in touch with industry experts or established business people catering to the same market. Knowing your market has a lot to do with Economics, intuition, and good decision making.
2. Be resilient
Failures are a part of life in general, more so in Entrepreneurship. You will encounter a lot of hurdles in your journey. Many battles will be lost before the war is won. However, (provided your ideas do seem profitable) it is important to recover from your failures and continue giving your best. Try different approaches, get creative. Sooner or later your efforts will be rewarded.
3. Public Speaking
Nearly all people in power have excellent oratory skills. They can shock, manipulate, appeal to, and appease the masses with just their words. This skill will come in handy when you aspire to make a living by selling a product or a service. There are well-established brands catering to nearly everything a person would need. To convince people you have something different or better to offer requires confidence and a way with words. You should know how to appeal to their emotions whilst remaining practical. It makes your sales pitch credible to investors as well.
4. Soft Skills
With highly literate graduates being unable to get a job, the significance of soft skills is being emphasised more and more in the past few years. We must realise we work with people, as part of a group, not in seclusion. We may be introverts but we can’t let that affect our ability to get along with our colleagues in a work sphere.
As women, it also becomes necessary to assert oneself without being arrogant. Women in managerial posts are often called “bossy” or “pushy” when they dole out the same treatment as their male counterparts. One must develop a thick skin to such comments.
5. Get assistance
Women often like to handle everything and don’t take up more than they can handle in an individual capacity. I do believe women are better multi-taskers and are often times very efficient, but when it comes to handling an entire organisation (big or small) one needs to delegate. Delegation may involve sharing authority but more often than not it is just getting help. You can even outsource certain functions. This greatly helps in scaling up and allows you to deliver better products while improving the economy as a whole.
Your people skills and ability to network will determine how easily you are able to get the right sort of help and at what cost.
6. Enhance your knowledge
I cannot emphasise the importance of reading enough. Reading and studying is not just something we do to get through school and college. However, glamorous and “fun” a career may seem, there is literally no job that doesn’t require you to keep learning. Off late undue attention is given to being “street-smart” or “presentation skills” when in reality all these are skills are acquired as a result of learning constantly.
7. Stay grounded
Many Entrepreneurs get carried away by the little success they see in their initial phase and eventually end up stagnating. They may have done better than anticipated and at times become complacent enough to forgo good opportunities. It is important to not fall into this trap. Realise that there is always potential to grow, keep revising your goals, and make the most of your opportunities. Success is something that has no limit, there is always room for more. Arrogance is a side-effect of ignorance.
8. Stay on top of things
While delegating is an unavoidable part of any growing business, it is important to continue staying on top of things. Your business, from the copier machine to the watchman, to the employees, to the final product is yours to handle. At no point do you have an excuse to ignore or undermine the value of any of these constituent elements that keep your organisation going.
While this may be hard to execute, I also recommend taking over the duties of an employee or worker for a brief period. This helps you understand their worth, their efforts, and the possible challenges they encounter. When new candidates join the organisation, you can even train them yourself, whilst getting more in touch with the nuances of your organisation.
9. Stay healthy
Many women are passed up for good opportunities because it is believed that they take more leaves for health reasons. While our career should not be a hindrance to having a fulfilling life outside the office, we should be as healthy as possible so that we can give our best to our jobs. Being an entrepreneur allows you flexibility with timings and holidays, use this to your advantage whilst devoting sufficient time to your career.
Entrepreneurship requires a wide skill-set, resilience, and a thick-skin. It is not a career opportunity for the weak. You are always on your toes. However, in my opinion, women are better cut out for such a job than men. Women are generally better with managing, economising, convincing, and manipulating, all skills absolutely vital in business. With a little assistance and good fortune, women can reach greater heights than ever before. I believe these skills are basic yet significant for women entrepreneurs or I should better say ‘ladypreneurs‘.
Please let me know about your views in the comments below ⬇︎