The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2016/ 17 women’s report shows that women entrepreneurial activity globally is up by 10 percent, closing the gender gap by 5 percent since 2014. Sub-Saharan Africa leads the way, as its female entrepreneurship rates the highest globally. 25.9 per cent of the female adult population is engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the region.
The majority of women entrepreneurs – 61.8 per cent – said they started a business because they are taking advantage of the opportunity, rather than out of necessity.
While the news that women are leading in the entrepreneurial space is exciting for us, there is sad news. A report by researchgate.net, drawing on a unique, nationally representative data set of entrepreneurial firms sampled from the U.S. population in 2005 and followed yearly since then demonstrate that female entrepreneurs /businesses are more likely to fail than those of their male counterparts. Reasons for this include; going into businesses spontaneously rather than as a carefully thought out plan.
The idea of starting or owning a business can be very exciting, but it is also a daunting venture which can especially take its toll on women who need to consider some special issues before taking the plunge to business.
It is thus wise to count the cost of a venture before starting. There are several things to consider before starting up a business venture as a woman, this business Clinique article will, however, look at four important issues.
Choose your employees wisely
The truth that teams have to be complementary to be functional is one that most women learn a little too late in business. Women are often concerned about how they are perceived by others and a high percentage of women do not want to be seen as difficult to work with. Hence most female entrepreneurs are afraid to speak up especially to male employees. Women in business should realize that there is hardly a way to set a boundary without making someone upset. It is important to take this into consideration especially when making employees out of very close friends and relatives.
Will it be easy to tell your brother-in-law you are considering employing that his job is not satisfactory? Can you comfortably query your best friends’ daughter without having that guilt trip when you meet with her parent, your friend? If you are one who can comfortably separate your professional and personal life without having to fight with emotions, go for it. But if you belong to the other group who will always pause to consider how great business decisions will affect personal relationships, then the rule of thumb should always be “Do not hire anyone you cannot fire’’.
Think carefully about the team you want to take off with before starting.
Be convinced of your motive for going into that business
Are you passionate about the business venture? do you see a need and want to meet it? is it profitable in your area? or are you just jealous of the attention people in the sector are getting and feel you deserve some of the limelight too?
Honestly ask yourself why you are going into that business, keeping in mind, what success looks like for you.
Remember that your business should fit into your vision for your life, not the other way around. So, before you begin your business, honestly consider if you’re truly interested in living the life of an entrepreneur and consider if your motive for starting that business fits into what success means for you.
If you are considering starting a business, you need to also count the cost in terms of commitment to family. Women are usually the primary caregivers to children and ill family members and thus need to thoroughly think this through before choosing to start or when considering the type of business venture to take up.
Issues such as delaying marriage or having a baby or moving to a new city to start up a family should all be carefully weighed in when making this consideration.
Most of the stress that comes with being a female business owner can be alleviated with careful planning and forethought.
Be Battle Ready
Starting a business is definitely going to be trial by fire. You will be stretched and challenged in ways you would never have imagined. It is very important thus for any female considering going into business to be ‘’battle-ready’’. You will now be responsible not just for yourself but also for the livelihood of your team. There will be naysayers and those just waiting to say ‘’I told you so’’.
Constantly reminding yourself of why you ventured into the business in the first place will always help you stay battle-ready.