There are more women entrepreneurs starting new businesses today than at any point in history.
We will all benefit as a result of this trend. Women are more likely to see and fix industry gaps than men are, making them more likely to identify business ideas that will succeed and help others.
And while it’s always challenging to start and grow a new business, there are many terrific resources tailored to help women entrepreneurs start, run and grow their businesses more quickly. As a result, women have founded very diverse businesses, across many industries.
For example, what do a fitness expert, sustainable apparel enthusiast, online magazine owner, media co-founder, and two crowdSPRING creatives have in common? They are all trailblazing, empowered, and highly successful female entrepreneurs that have worked hard to carve their own unique paths in the business world.
We spoke to 6 female entrepreneurs about their experiences with starting their own businesses, raising families, and their overall journey as female entrepreneurs. With years of wisdom, different industries, and different ages, these women represent a glimpse into what being an entrepreneur is really like. Here are the important insights they wanted to share with you.
As the founder of a fitness community for moms that includes classes, support, and a community of fit moms, Lisa has become an expert in leveraging 21st century marketing for her unique audience.
I have been marketing my company via word of mom for over a decade. The social media platforms may change but the talk has always been based on the story of moms. When moms like something, they talk. When they don’t like something, they talk. It doesn’t matter where or on what they talk, what matters is that they talk. We have made sure to create a very special business that moms want to talk about in a positive light.
When it comes to female entrepreneurship in general, Lisa has one big tip: know your purpose. With FIT4MOM, Lisa’s purpose is to empower mothers to lead healthy, active lives while caring for their children. But for aspiring entrepreneurs, knowing your “why” is Lisa’s biggest tip.
First, figure out your why. When you know your why and you are totally committed to it, you can get through any obstacle. Think about what you want your life to look like. If you want to be a remote entrepreneur and work from your laptop, then you probably don’t want to start a brick and mortar business. Figure out what you are most passionate about and see how you can bring that together with your purpose.
Sheer Apparel focuses on providing consumers with a central, online location to purchase fair and sustainable clothing. Paula wanted to bring transparency to the clothing industry- something that others have struggled and failed to do in the past. While starting such a new venture, Paula learned a lot about funding her business.
For now, my business is self-funded. Although that won’t work forever or for any type of company, it keeps you disciplined, makes sure you spend money in a smart way, and shows a future investor that you are literally invested in the business- you aren’t just saying that you are. Also, people who are just starting out can sometimes forget that raising money, be it from Angel investors or through crowdfunding takes time and effort, so inevitably it’ll take you away from the day to day running of your business. So if you can, I suggest trying to start out self-funded.
Paula echoes what many other successful entrepreneurs say: entrepreneurship is a lonely, difficult road- though worthwhile! She suggests building a support network and anticipating the unexpected and the underestimated, especially for first time entrepreneurs.
I’d give female entrepreneurs the same advice I give to any entrepreneur, male or female: surround yourself with smart people who will challenge you when you are becoming too comfortable and will support you when you are being too hard on yourself. Also, everything will take twice as long and cost twice as much as you thought, plan for that.
Sallee has built her business based on an online magazine surrounded by a community of women seeking empowerment. When it comes to building a support network, Sallee is all too familiar with just how important it is to be surrounded by a support system.
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