From managing cash to promoting new products in the market, entrepreneurs have to prevail over many obstacles to pull off the realization of their business objectives. This is especially true for female entrepreneurs.
Running a business especially when you’re a woman has never been easy. In the competitive business world, women have to make great strides and deal with numerous challenges compared to their male counterparts.
Problem#1 Male-dominated workforce
Numerous societies are combating with gender discrimination even in the 21st century. Be it about education or employment; most women find themselves struggling in a male-dominated workplace. Such a mentality of the society where a woman is not accepted in the authoritative position gives a woman a lot to struggle to earn respect, honor, and success.
Solution: As a female entrepreneur living in a male-dominated society, you need to create your own respect for being a hardworking, reputable businessperson. Make every effort to build confidence. Also, overcome any negative self-talk in your head that are stopping you from reaching your full potential.
Problem#2 Suppressing your philosophies and ideas
If you are a woman and running your own business, you can relate this: ‘I walk into a packed workshop and can count the number of women with no hassle’. In numerous societies, women entrepreneurs especially young ones have to talk business with primarily male executives. This can cause one to lose strength or courage. Such sort of situation may easily imply that she needs to adopt a stereotypically “male” attitude toward business: aggressive, assertive and sometimes overly sharp.
Solution: Be a leader of your own ideas. Make your idea win in a crowd. Never allow a man’s perception to overwhelming your individuality anywhere; Business is no exception. According to successful female CEOs, along with hard work and continuation, remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice is necessary to make it to where you should be.
Problem#3 Building a support network
No matter what, a robust support network is essential for entrepreneurial success. Unfortunately, nearly half of the female founders all over the world report a lack of available advisers and mentors. Such shortage restricts them to extend professionally, especially in a male-dominated setting, where it can be quite challenging for women entrepreneurs to choose their path and promote the institutions and connections into the more elite business networks.
Solution: Knowing where to find the right support network is crucial. You need to research a bit, read books, ask the mavens or experts of the industry. Also, listen to podcasts, connect outside the geographic confines that may make you feel apart. Once you finally figure out your network of supporters, ask for what you actually require out of them. As you never know who can help, be always clear about what you need. If you hesitate to ask, you won’t get any benefit.
Problem#4 Lack of investors’ confidence
“What’s the most awful that could happen? Everyone said to me NO.”
If you are a woman who wants to raise the capital to start her own business, you must have heard these words – ‘thank you so much for coming in, but sorry, we’re not interested’. Being a woman entrepreneur, another challenge you have to deal with when starting a business is lacking capital. Unfortunately, a woman entrepreneur is given less consideration by investors compared to a man. Considering such discrimination, businesswomen generally find it challenging to raise capital or obtain a loan.
The actual reason for this discrimination is unknown. But, such mindset gives benefits to a businessman to raise capital. And, investors and bankers would rather risk their venture capital with male entrepreneurs than females.
Solution: What’s the solution to this problem? Simple, you need to keep your goals and keep asking for what you want. The good chances are to receive countless objections and stumbling blocks on your way, but persistence is all you need to stand out with your dream.
Problem#5 Stress due to competition and business routine
Many women start a business simply to create a livelihood for themselves and their loved ones. They have little or no experience of how to survive in the competitive market. With little knowledge of the market and no creative thinking, most business women struggle with the stress and stiff competition associated with running a business.
The entrepreneurial procedure of standing business up from exnihilo entails hard work, commitment, and persistence. Business is all about to survive. And, to survive, you have to be tough. As Lilian Vernon said once, toughness is a good thing, yet it is considered good only in men. When a woman is tough, men can’t stand it. I like being tough; tough and smart.
Solution: Many women entrepreneurs combating staying alive as a business, staying ahead of the game, and melding their business life with the personal life may soon end up with fatigue. They need to use the art of commitment and time management to your advantage whenever dealing with such rough patches. They should consider what can be more significant to your business and get the arduous business tasks off your neck.
Problem# 6 Deal with sexism and undermining
As a woman who runs the well-established business, it is common to face sexism and undermining when dealing with the clients and even employees.
Such undermining is very common in pitch meetings or conferences. They can be asked questions focused on family matters. Are you going to be committed, or are you going to do this until you get married and conceived? Compared to women, men never have to deal with such a situation.
Solution: We need to work on it, but if you’re a female entrepreneur, you need to work harder, think better, focus on the big vision, ask for more, and be sturdier. You need to be stronger in your dealings with your employees and clients.
Remember, you’re not going to be able to change the world at once, so if you’re in the trenches as an entrepreneur now, you need to accommodate for the current reality. You need to be stronger, better and more diligent, rather than expect things to change for you.
During such struggle, you may get labeled a superwoman or a characterless, but you’d rather than – and get things done in the approved manner – than deal with ineffectiveness.
The Last Word
When everything is said and done, make sure you understand and remind that you cannot let the society decide your right of way, and you’ve to be strong and risky enough to prioritize your career, your decisions and your way of life over anything else. You also need to accept that you can’t always make the right decisions, that you’ll muster royally from time to time – understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, but a part of success.
Also, whenever you feel something is out of the question, ask yourself: are these challenges impossible to overcome? Are these stumbling blocks on your way isn’t possible to overcome? The answer should be ‘NO’. You must not think this way since you’ve come a long way. Whenever you feel confused, always be clear about your goals. Always pick up small wins and figure out answers for the next steps. This makes it easier for you to take decisive steps in a specified direction.