The good news is that against all odds, women in India and around the world have tried to shed this traditional form and make their mark as successful businesswomen
Female leaders are beginning to make a name for themselves around the world. Image courtesy of Corporal Natalie Rostran/Wikimedia Commons
Being an entrepreneur is tough. But what’s harder than being an entrepreneur is being an entrepreneur. An entrepreneur needs strong capital, excellent social networks and efficient legal support to boost his business, big or small. Although the current scenario of women-owned businesses is healthier than ever, there are still obvious inequalities that women entrepreneurs face. If we talk about the scenario in India, women entrepreneurs are expected not only to run a full-time business but also to have a home.
But wait, don’t despair!
The good news is that against all odds, women in India and around the world have tried to shed this traditional form and make their mark as successful businesswomen. If we look at the statistics, according to the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, 252 million out of approximately 582 million entrepreneurs in the world are women. Along with 153 million women who have run businesses, we can see the impact women have on businesses. Research also shows that women now make up 41 percent of the global workforce and control over $20 trillion in annual spending. That number is projected to grow to $28 trillion in the next few years.
As an entrepreneur with roots in India but based in Dubai, I can safely say things are changing. Women are taking the plunge today; They prefer to be their own bosses and want to change lives and transform society. As in India, there has been a surge in women entrepreneurs and funding for new businesses in Dubai. A quick look at the Forbes 50 most promising startups in the UAE reveals that women are leading some of the most prominent new businesses in the region. We are seeing tremendous growth in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run by both locals and expats.
From my experience of running several successful ventures, here are six tips that have really worked for me. Whether you are looking to take the next steps in the business world or you are already an established businesswoman, these mantras will definitely help you succeed.
Stay committed to your vision
In the process of self-employment you will discover many exciting things. It’s easy to get distracted because your business is like your baby. Make sure you have a clear vision for your business. Failure is part of every new beginning, but a million troubles shouldn’t be enough to stop you. Never underestimate your skills when running your business. Keep short, achievable goals that gradually bring you closer to your dream. Staying committed to your vision allows you to stay focused and grow. And when you find your business doing well, move on to the things that make your business successful.
Know your target audience
One of the things you need to keep consistent is your understanding of your target audience. A deep and constantly evolving understanding of your audience will help you make effective decisions. Multiple entrepreneurs often build companies, products and brands without defining their target audience. Your target audience isn’t just the customer, but your employees, colleagues, influencers, etc. – all of whom will be beneficial in different ways. Always remember that everyone loves a company that understands their changing needs and trends. Success requires business agility, with a desire to learn and adapt to new practices or technologies that can take your business to the next level.
Understand your finances
Cash flow is by far the biggest challenge for many entrepreneurs, not just women but men as well. Knowing how much money your business has to spend can help you prioritize what matters most. Having financial backup is very important – it could be done by planning a budget and setting a time each month to review finances. It may sound scary, but you must be extremely careful with debt – it is one of the biggest killers of business dreams.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
If you want to build a successful business, you need help. Whether you’re faced with a task you can’t handle, you don’t have enough hours in the day, or you’re just plain exhausted, don’t hesitate to ask for help and reach out to your network of friends, family, and professionals. A healthy network is the key to a successful business. You must overcome your fear of rejection and seek help as if it were part of your job.
Never stop learning
Learning is something no entrepreneur should ever stop doing. The moment an entrepreneur stops wanting to learn new things is the moment problems arise. Running a successful business shouldn’t be an ego trip. Whether it’s mastering a talent or learning a new one, continuous learning creates opportunities for improvement, new thoughts, and opportunities. It is very important to be empathetic, encouraging and empowering in your entrepreneurial endeavors.
A healthy work-life balance can improve your physical, emotional, and mental health. Follow your routine diligently – don’t skip meals, eat on time, make time to exercise, and get enough sleep. Otherwise your job as an entrepreneur will inevitably become more difficult. Take breaks to avoid frustration and burnout. It can be as small as a lunch break during office hours or something larger like a vacation. This special time you take for yourself has a positive impact on your work and lifestyle.
The author is the founder and CEO of Contemporary Connect. Views are personal.