Boss Lady

How to tackle the most common female entrepreneur hurdles

on

Women make fantastic entrepreneurs for a range of reasons. Often, they build their empires off passion and drive, and this fundamental devotion to their work makes them even more powerful in the saturated marketplace.

It’s the unique characteristics that women can bring to the business space that have helped them to flourish in recent years.

Of course, just because women have the power to be successful, doesn’t mean that they don’t face their own unique hurdles on the path to profits. Today’s female business owners have made great strides in the entrepreneurial sector, but there are still some challenges that you need to overcome if you want to get to the top. Here, we’ll take a look at the most common entrepreneur hurdles women face, and how to overcome them.

Access to finance

Women often face more obstacles than their male counterparts when it comes to starting and developing a business. This is particularly true when it comes to getting venture capital and angel investors. Unfortunately, men generally fund people who look and sound exactly like them. That means that women

As an entrepreneur, you know there are a lot of perks to being your own boss. It puts you in the driver’s seat of your career, giving you more control over your advancement, work-life balance, mental health.

But for every advantage women gain by ditching traditional employment, they face other obstacles to becoming the best entrepreneur they can be. The glass ceiling follows many female entrepreneurs wherever their goals take them.

This guide shines a spotlight on the invisible barriers that female entrepreneurs face. Knowing what you’re going up against can help you overcome any challenge that comes your way.

1. Borrowing

Borrowing money is a fact of life when it comes to operating a small business, but for many female entrepreneurs, it can be a challenge to get the funds they need. Research shows female-owned businesses receive 31 percent less in loans than male-owned companies.

Why? In part, it’s because women have lower credit scores on average than men. This means you could face similar challenges being approved in your personal life if you have a low score.

A low credit score doesn’t mean you can’t get approved, although it does change the types of financial products you can qualify for in both your personal and professional lives.

If you need cash in a personal emergency when you have a low score, you need to look at installment loans for bad credit. An online installment loan for bad credit may be worth applying for when you need help covering an unexpected personal emergency.

If you need financing for your business, you’ll have to search out business installment loans for bad credit in much the same way.

2. Earnings

The gender wage gap drives many women to become entrepreneurs. As an entrepreneur, you’re the boss. You set your rates and choose your salary. Unfortunately, you might still deal with a significant wage gap even though you’re the one signing your paychecks.

A study from FreshBooks, which surveyed 2,700 salaried and self-employed workers, shows female entrepreneurs make 28 percent less than male entrepreneurs in the same field.

More than a third of respondents point to gender discrimination as the reason why they take a pay cut, with 20 percent of self-employed women charging less than their male counterparts to get and keep clients.

3. Investing

Saving for retirement is one of the toughest jobs for an entrepreneur, but it’s especially difficult when you’re earning less overall. According to CNBC, most women end up saving less than men.

Before the pandemic, one poll suggests women are $70,000 behind men in retirement savings. Now more than a year into the healthcare crisis, this gap could widen. Nearly three-quarters of women say the pandemic has negatively impacted their retirement savings as the caregiving burden falls squarely on their shoulders.

Staying informed

Knowledge is meant to empower, not discourage. Now that you’re aware of the barriers you face, you can create a business plan that addresses your unique needs—whether you’re an established a female-led business or an aspiring entrepreneur.

With the right plan in hand, you can find out how to overcome these challenges, take control of your career, and break through the glass ceiling.

Making the most of your network

It’s not uncommon for a woman in business to feel as though she has to do everything for herself. In a world often dominated by men, we feel compelled to show our strength wherever we can. However, it’s crucial in business to have a network of partners and trusted advisors around you who can help you to grow. In any kind of business endeavor, obtaining the right connections is crucial to success. After all, it’s just as much about “who you know”, as “what you know”.

Men have created their own “boy’s’ clubs” in the business world, and it’s time for women to do the same thing. When you’re looking for opportunities to grow, reach out to other women in your industry, connect with people who can open new doors for you, and your ambitions.

Being decisive

If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, then you need to learn how to make important decisions. Unfortunately, this can be more difficult for women than anyone else. Although us girls are making huge strides in the world of business, many of us still feel overwhelmed by a predominantly male environment. This can frequently leave us second-guessing ourselves.

If you’re struggling with an important decision, don’t rush yourself. Take the time to sit back and look at all aspects of your choice. Think carefully about the opportunities available to you, and make a decision that sits well with your instincts, and your understanding of the situation.

Searching for role models

In the dog-eat-dog world of business, it can help to have someone special that you “look up to” in your industry. These role models give you guidelines for how to act in difficult circumstances, and how to overcome those dangerous pitstops that can mean the difference between failure and success. Unfortunately, women have a harder time finding role models than men.

Although there are plenty of successful female entrepreneurs out there, it’s the men that get better coverage and visibility. To find someone you can connect with, check out articles online that list some of the most successful women in the media today.

Time management

It can feel a little overwhelming, finding ways to manage your time as a female entrepreneur. Not only do you need to think about the ways that you can develop your business skills, but you also need to take steps to enhance your company, and expand your brand visibility.

Remember, as an entrepreneur it can be tempting to spend all of your time on your business, but it’s important to work on your company, not in it. That means that you’re going to need to take breaks from time to time, and learn how to delegate too. You can’t be responsible for everything.

Fear of success

Finally, it might surprise you to learn that one of the biggest hurdles female entrepreneurs face, is the fear of success. Every level of success that you achieve in your industry will come with new challenges and worries to think about. That can mean that being successful isn’t always as wonderful as it seems.

The important thing to remember is that you deserve to achieve your goals. Although new challenges might seem terrifying at first, reflect on the things that you’ve overcome to get you to this point. The more you look back on your successes, the more confident you’ll feel about the future.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

Recommended for you