Boss Lady

5 ways female business owners are combating pandemic-related challenges

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If you’re a female business owner, then you know that you sometimes have to combat certain biases. Unfortunately, some individuals don’t like the idea of women managing or owning their own companies.

Those are challenges you may have to overcome, but you’re probably dealing with more significant obstacles this year. Covid-19 has made it difficult for many businesses to remain open, especially smaller ones. However, many female business owners are up to the challenge, and you can be as well. Here are five sensible ideas for you to look into for your business if you have not done so already.

Chatbots and Facebook Messenger

Some retail businesses are using chatbot marketing through Facebook Messenger to solve Covid-related challenges. Facebook Messenger is:

• A platform and messaging app
• Highly popular with a particular population segment

Since more people are shopping online, businesses that intend to survive must make it easy for them to find the items they want. Chatbots on the Facebook Messenger app can give would-be customers tailored product suggestions and provide them with the latest discount or sale information.

If you know that your potential customers are likely using Facebook Messenger, then developing chatbots for your business is a must.

Bring on Investors

Another possibility is for you to attract investors. If you don’t have the capital to stay afloat right now, you might need to bring in outside help for a fresh cash infusion. You might do this through:

Finding angel investors
• Getting in touch with a venture capital firm

Whether these are viable options will depend mostly on how realistic your business model is and your growth potential. If you can create a plan that will wow potential investors, they might be willing to take a chance on you, even with pandemic-related uncertainty.

However, attracting serious investors might be difficult if you were just getting off the ground when the pandemic struck. If so, then you might not be able to show a steady profit stream.

It’s not impossible for you to still attract investors if you’re in this situation. You will just have to work extra hard to convince anyone to get on board with what you’re doing.

Get a Small Business Loan

You can also try to get some money from a bank or credit union. Some financial institutions want specifically to help female business owners. Do some online research and see if any exist in your vicinity that seem like potential candidates.

However, much like with investors, it will be tough convincing a bank or credit union to give you a loan if you can’t show years or at least months of steady revenue. If your business’s profit record is shaky, then the bank or other lending institution might demand collateral.

That could mean putting up your house or anything else of value that you have. If you’re willing to do this, then you’d better believe in your vision very strongly. It’s good to be confident, but this strategy could backfire, particularly in this economy.

Invest in Social Media Like Never Before

Most business owners in 2020 understand that you need to use social media to get people interested in your services and products. You can’t rely exclusively on outdated marketing formats like TV ad campaigns, radio spots, billboards, etc.

Even if you were using social media already, now is the time to redouble your efforts. If you have a social media manager, make sure they concentrate only on the platforms where you know your niche congregates. It does no good for your company to create Facebook ads if your potential customers are on Twitter or Pinterest instead.

Network as Much as Possible

Another thing that you can do if you’re a small company is to make yourself visible in your community however you can. If there are chamber of commerce events, make sure you go there and meet your fellow business owners. You could also sponsor a local event like a fun run or charity food drive.

If people in your community begin to remember you, that’s how you know that you’re achieving some brand recognition. That’s one of the most vital things for you to do if you want to be a local fixture.

Businesswomen who are struggling in 2020 aren’t alone, and you should know that you can find solidarity on online forums. Hopefully, your family also supports you in your endeavors and can act as your biggest cheerleaders right now.

About Claudia Schulz

Claudia Schulz is an Engineer who left Australia’s shores in 2008 to pursue post-graduate studies in International Management in Germany. Currently, Claudia is in Paris working in Key Account Management for a global engineering solutions provider.She is passionate about raising awareness of gender-roles in the international workplace, connecting people, language, literature, and croissants.Has been described as sassy on more than one occasion (thank you, high-school debating).Life goals (in no particular order): attend a TED Conference, travel through Turkey, obtain a PhD, buy an oven (not an easy feat for a Parisian-sized apartment).

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