4 Small Business Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Overcome
I am proud to see more and more woman owned businesses, not to long ago it was rare to see a successful business owned by a woman. Times have changed, according to National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) there are more than 11.6 million woman owned business in the US and represent the fastest growing segment in America’s economy! Even though we are breaking barriers there are still a lot of obstacles slowing our productivity, so let’s talk about.
Societal ExpectationsIn today’s society women are still stereotyped as the ones who are meant to take care of home and the kids, we are supposed to dedicate time to the household and handle all of the kids’ extracurricular activities as well as perform at work. Finding the right balance between them is essential but unfortunately, in our society, a woman is required to give more importance to her family rather than her career. This stigma can make it hard for a driven woman to date/ marry because men expect that the woman should dedicate more time to handle the kids. Although we are all suppose to be treated equal, the expectations are completely different. Somehow, we are still able to exceed expectations while carrying children and taking maternity leave.
Lack of CapitalUnfortunately, now even after women have proved themselves time and again that they are more than capable, people find it hard to believe and hesitate to invest in a business venture which is established by women entrepreneurs. It is also disappointing to see that banks do not consider women as credit worthy as they believe that they can give-up their business at any time. Which leaves women with limited resource to obtain capital. Our firm strives to help any small business entrepreneur acquire business capital with minimal and reasonable qualifications and fantastic terms.
Business NetworkingMany women shy away from networking because most networking events and groups are consumed with men, and as a woman you are consistently having to prove your value to be taken seriously. All a man sees as you introduce yourself is a “sweetheart” woman with a side hustle. As a businesswoman who is constantly networking, there are groups where you can feel welcomed, investigate women specific groups who are all about encouraging and promoting each other. I personally am a member of WOAMTEC all women’s group, consumed of successful women entrepreneurs. They also provide plenty of business resources and education to help you grow your business and marketing strategies.
First ImpressionsWith all that being said, one of the biggest challenges women entrepreneurs face is creating an authoritative first impression. As mentioned earlier we are immediately stereotyped by outlooks, which can make it very uncomfortable to get out there and network because we aren’t recognized as a serious entrepreneur. Ways I have overcome this, or not let this affected my networking, I introduce myself with a firm handshake and my name. Always maintain eye contact as you introduce yourself, it shows confidence and is the first step to someone respecting your business. If you are not confident with yourself no one else is going to take your business seriously. Get out there and networking and build your business strong credibility with a strong website, business cards, flyers that clearly introduce your business and what you do. There are so many networking opportunities, in person and virtual, find what suits you, build your confidence and lets all help each other grow successfully.