Women-owned businesses haven’t always been the norm. For many years, women struggled to create their own business and bring it to life. Obstacles in diversity and equality made it nearly impossible for females to succeed in the business world.
That is no longer the case.
Women Have a Powerful Impact on Business
Today, women have a powerful impact on business. As of 2021, 31% of small businesses or franchises in the U.S. were owned and operated by women. Additionally, the 11.6 million firms owned by women across the country generate $1.7 trillion in sales.
The best part? That number is expected to grow as more women across the country—and the globe—start to take advantage of a more even playing field.
Resources for Women
There are now multiple government resources and private institutions dedicated to diverse businesses and equality. These resources have made it easier for women to realize their dreams and establish successful companies.
If you’re still on the fence about starting a business of your own, or you’re not sure how to get started, we’ll cover some of those resources. Most importantly, though, we’ll talk about how you can feel empowered to launch your company, and what you need to put into it to find success.
Put Together a Plan
If you want to feel confident about launching a business in any industry, it’s necessary to put together a solid plan.
Your business plan will help to define what you want your company to look like. It will determine what’s needed to make a profit, help you figure out start-up costs, and even make it easier to develop a marketing strategy.
Putting together a business plan will also help with:
- Researching your competition
- Seeking out different financing options, including working with investors
- Establishing your business’ objectives and goals
- Anticipating problems before they arise
If you’ve never run your own business before, it’s worth it to talk to someone who has experience in writing business plans, like a commercial law attorney. They can help you fill in gaps and provide expert advice about putting together an effective plan. No detail is too small when it comes to the things you should prepare for. As a woman, it’s easy to feel a little “on edge” when starting a business, since there are still plenty of stigmas out there. Your plan will provide you with extra security, insight, and confidence to know that your business will be a success.
Reach Out for Help
Whether you’re looking for financing, expert advice, or even better networking opportunities, some resources specifically help certified women-owned businesses. The federal government’s goal is to award at least 5% of federal contracting money each year to businesses owned by women. To become certified and take advantage of that funding, there are some qualifications your business needs to meet.
For example, to become a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSM), your company needs to meet the following criteria:
- At least 51% of the business is owned by a woman
- A woman manages day-to-day operations
- The owner works full-time at the business
There are even certification resources available for women from disadvantaged populations. So, no matter where you live or what your background might be, you can qualify to receive help. These particular certifications often come with resources, marketing, and networking opportunities that you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of on your own. It can also help with lead generation, so you’ll reach more customers/clients faster and more effectively.
Boost Your Confidence
Even if you have a brilliant idea for a business, a great plan, and you’re willing to become certified and rely on your resources, that’s only half the battle in running a successful business.
Again, there are still plenty of stigmas surrounding women in the workforce. Those stigmas are even worse when it comes to female entrepreneurs. If there weren’t, we wouldn’t still be facing things like gender pay gaps and sexual harassment against women in the workplace.
Instead of focusing on those issues, it’s crucial to find ways to build up your confidence and self-esteem for the sake of your business—and your well-being.
Remember, this business is about you and your passion. The most important thing you can do is to be your authentic self. Believe that you are enough and that you can help this business grow. You’re automatically in a leadership role, and when you’re true to yourself, the people underneath you will adopt the same mindset. Be a leader that is genuine, vulnerable, and willing to collaborate.
Embrace setbacks and view them as learning opportunities. Every business experiences bumps in the road. It’s what you do afterward that will make a difference.
Finally, seek out help and guidance from a mentor. Nothing will boost your confidence faster than talking to another successful female business owner.
We’re seeing an obvious shift in the way women-owned businesses are viewed. Stigmas are falling away and help is out there for strong female entrepreneurs ready to bring their dreams to life. Now is a perfect time to start your own business—with confidence!
Noah Rue is a journalist and content writer, fascinated with the intersection between global health, personal wellness, and modern technology. When he isn’t searching out his next great writing opportunity, Noah likes to shut off his devices and head to the mountains to disconnect.