Funding your own business can be a scary yet exciting idea. Furthermore, knowing that the business world is often seen as an area reserved for men might discourage some women from even trying. Women receive only 2% of venture investments. Furthermore, .02% of this amount goes to women of color. However, letting these statistics stop you would be a mistake. Today, it is well-known that startups run by women often bring higher revenue than those led by men.
How Can You Become a Successful Female Founder?
Become Familiar with Your Numbers
You should feel completely comfortable understanding and discussing the finances of your company. This way, you’ll know if you need to get a cashadvance to get started, or something considerably bigger, such as funding from a venture capitalist.
This type of funding is much better than getting a loan at a bank. While some women have been successful by investing their capital, it’s always better to try to get the funding you need from external sources. Venture capitalists know there are risks involved, which is always a plus.
Test the Waters
This is especially important if you’re planning on introducing a new product to the market. You need to learn if there’s truly a need for what you want to sell. Go beyond your friends and acquaintances. Offer your product on a small scale and see if people are interested. This way, you’ll know there’s a market for your brilliant idea.
Learn When to Delegate
At first, it’s very likely that you’ll do everything yourself. Kathy Hannun is one of the founders of Dandelion Energy, a geothermal company. She strongly recommends building a structure that allows the company to grow and thrive, even without you in it. This will become necessary as the company grows, and it’s up to you to make sure you learn to delegate instead of wanting to keep absolute control.
Not only in yourself but also in your idea. This is going to take most of your time, so you want to make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Furthermore, as your company grows, this belief is what will motivate your employees to continue working hard to make something great.
You should assert yourself from the very beginning when it comes to dealing with partners or getting funding. This does not mean you should try to impose your view. What it means is that you need to be confident and focus on your strengths and achievements. You don’t want to plead for support, you want to let them know why it would be smart of them to invest in you.
Know Your Worth
Your confidence should come from the fact that you are well-informed on your chances of success. According to Alice’s founder, Carolyn Rodz, women-owned businesses are responsible for creating around 90% of new jobs worldwide. This is despite the little funding women founders receive. So do not sell yourself short, and know what you need to ask for.
Make Resilience Your Main Strength
The plans you have are bound to change, and there is nothing wrong with that. You need to be able to adapt and adjust. Furthermore, do not be scared of failure and taking risks. Some of the things you implement will not work, and you should focus on what you can learn from it. Also, when it comes to taking risks, these are always going to be necessary for your growth. Otherwise, you’re stagnant. Let go of your expectations and embrace change.
Turn Challenges into Opportunities
So you stand out because you’re the only woman at the meeting? Use this to your advantage to leave a positive lasting impression. People spend inordinate amounts of energy trying to stand out, while you might do so just with your presence. Don’t be intimidated and instead, use this as an opportunity to get your ideas across.
Put the Company First
Sometimes, you’ll go to a meeting with one of your male partners, and they will be addressed first, even if you’re the founder. If dealing with businessmen from a different culture, you might even be entirely ignored. The advice from female founders such as Laurence Stoll, who founded Marchise Tech is to forget about your ego. Let them address him. If it is going to help your business, then all the better for you.
Always be Prepared
According to different studies, women are more often asked negative questions such as “what is your plan B?” when looking for funding. Meanwhile, men are asked things like “what are your growth expectations?” Be prepared to answer any type of question that comes your way. You need to be able to answer with certainty and without hesitation. Prepare yourself for the negative questions, but make your discourse all about the positive. After all, you know you’re going to succeed, now it’s time to show it.