Women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment of the small business community. Although creating businesses at this fast pace, there are some significant road blocks that women business owners have to face that are different than their male counterparts.
Pressure to act a certain way
When women entrepreneurs have to talk business with primarily male executives, it can sometimes be intimidating. When you own a business, you are constantly negotiating deals with many different people and many times. To compensate and protect themselves, some women feel they need to adopt a stereotypical male attitude that can include things like being competitive, aggressive or overly harsh. Hilary Genga, founder and CEO of a women’s swimwear company called Trunkettes, advises women entrepreneurs to “be yourself and to not conform yourself to a man’s idea of what a leader should look like.”
Emotions and nurturing skills
In general, women are more emotional than men—at times, this can stand in the way of running a business. For women, business is not just about bottom line, it is an emotional connection—sometimes, that can hold women back in making tough decisions. Women tend to be relationship-oriented in business and they feel building on relationships will naturally lead to a sale, which is sometimes the case. However, at other times it is important to be direct and stay focused on your business goals.
Lack of support
There aren’t as many women as men in leadership positions—meaning there are less women to seek out to be role models, act as sounding boards, or create business deals with. Even though the number of female executives and business owners is increasing, it can still difficult to find fellow women entrepreneurs to connect with. One can use women-focused networking events like American Express OPEN’s CEO Bootcamp as a good places to start, as well as online forums and groups specifically created for women in business. There are also 100 women business centers located across the U.S. that run programs and training specifically design for women entrepreneurs.
Work life balance is a popular topic among entrepreneurs and anyone in business. Mothers who start a business have to simultaneously run their families and their companies, which can be challenging and stressful. “Mompreneurs” have dual responsibilities to their family and their business and finding time to balance the two is not an easy task for anyone.
Fear of failure
According to Babson College’s 2012 Global Entrepreneur Monitor, the fear of failure is a top concern of women who launch startups. Women need to work hard at ignoring that inner voice that discourages you from taking action.
For more information, visit: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5268-women-entrepreneur-challenges.html
Thanks for reading, and until next time… stay WISE!