There are a growing number of women facing the challenge of starting and growing a new business. These women have a wealth of knowledge and experiences that could be vital to the success of budding female entrepreneurs.
Here is some actionable advice from a selection of these business women who have agreed to share their valuable insights.
Reed Commercial recently conducted a OnePoll survey of 100 female business owners. For real advice from inspirational women who have done it themselves, take a look at their responses to these questions:
- What are some reasons why you should be starting your own business?
- How did you succeed as a female in business?
Starting a new venture
The women who took part in the study came from a number of different industries, from catering to IT, with many contrasting motivations for starting their business. A handful of the women said family commitments and wanting to work from home was a key reason as it allowed more flexibility.
However, most of the women had grown tired of working for other people for various different reasons, whether this was incompetence from their former employers or the feeling they could do things better themselves. 14% of women replied with something along the lines of “being their own boss. More and more women are now working for themselves and according to the Office of National Statistics, between 2008 and 2011 women accounted for 80% of the new self-employed.
Also from this survey, 7% of women said they had been made redundant, and in turn started a business. The women who were made redundant were all between the ages of 35- 55+. Showing that no matter your age, there are opportunities available for all of you and confidence in the British economy is strong right now, which means many more women are ready to go it alone and succeed.
Unsurprisingly, more than a quarter of the women said that the biggest difficulty specifically was the cash flow. Many of the women also said this was due to the recession. In the UK, there are approximately 5.2 million businesses, with 99% of them classified as SME. The recession really hit the SME’s hard, but these many of these women, through sheer determination and perseverance kept on going. Many women claimed to have problems trying to find staff, whether that was the cost of wages or finding someone suitable for the job. One entrepreneur who worked in accountancy, banking and finance said to overcome the staffing problem, they decided to take on apprentices which is a great way of reducing costs until you become established.
Finally, we asked respondents to provide us with advice they have for female entrepreneurs looking to start their own business venture. Many women suggested hiring a great accountant to help managed the finances as this can provide your business with the solid financial foundations it needs to grow in the future. Other women’s top advice was to have reserve funds for emergencies and if the business takes an unexpected financial hit.
A number of female business owners said that research prior to starting a new venture was absolutely key. Plan, research your target market and analyze your competition. Another recurring piece of advice was to network and learn from others wherever possible. Some respondents suggested surrounding yourself with helpful and supportive people, and the more contacts you have before you start your venture the better.
The majority of the women just said “Go for it”. Many of these women who started their business went with the same philosophy and succeeded. They say the key is to just follow your instincts. The road, of course, won’t be easy, but if you don’t try you’ll never know. If it doesn’t work out, at least you’ve tried and you can always go back to working for someone else if you have to.
Author: Sandy Purewal, Marketing Executive at Reed Commercial. Reed Commercial specialize in matching individuals to the right business franchise for them.