While the figures may show healthy growth in the female-run business sector, coupled with higher numbers of female entrepreneurs than ever before in the U.S., women are still facing an unprecedented number of challenges in the business world, when compared to men.
Thankfully, financing female entrepreneurship has never been easier or more reliable than it is today thanks to business loans for women, but the following 6 challenges are still common ones faced by women in all sectors of the business world:
- Having to defy social expectations and stereotypes
While easier said than done, successful female CEOs firmly believe that being yourself and not trying to conform to other people’s beliefs of how you should behave in the business world – or to behave as a man would – is the key to success. Being hyper competitive, aggressive, rude and brash, isn’t necessary, even if a lot of men act like this to get where they are.
- Trying to be taken as a serious business person
Whether they like it or not, most female business people will find themselves operating in an industry dominated by men at some stage in their career, and one that refuses to acknowledge their role as a leader, at that. This can easily evoke a cycle of negative comments, which without careful confidence building work, can present themselves as a very real barrier to a business woman’s success, in more ways than one.
- Failing to build a network of support
Support networks are invaluable for business people of all kinds, but with fewer women in the world of business, finding suitable mentors and advisors can be tough, and can limit their growth professionally.
Fortunately, while it’s not always easy to find them without a little digging, there are networking events being organized that center upon women in business, and when you find them, it can feel like such a relief to finally share your thoughts and concerns with others who have experienced the same as you.
- Trying to create a balance between work and home life
For women entrepreneurs who are also raising a family, striking the right balance between work life and home life, can be exceptionally hard, with many mothers harboring feelings of guilt if they find themselves spending too much time at the office, or out in the field trying to drum up business. That said, the culture surrounding working parents is slowly changing, giving women more flexibility, but arguably the only way to achieve a true balance, is to be your own boss.
- Trying to access funding
Not every female entrepreneur will need investors to help them get their business venture off the ground, but for those who do, they know better than anyone that raising capital can be much harder for them than for their male counterparts.
Generally speaking, investors (who are more often than not, men) have become so used to male entrepreneurs overstating their projections and inflating the numbers, that they automatically offer funding at a significantly lower level than was requested. However, when a female entrepreneur, who doesn’t overstate or inflate the numbers, puts in a request for funding, investors will assume they’re doing the same as the men and again, offer a figure far lower than has been requested.
Don’t forget that there are more traditional methods of accessing funds, too, such as bank loans and lines of credit, and if you’re interested in a merchant cash advance, an online MCA Calculator can help you determine whether it would be the right fit for your business.
- Struggling to cope with an abject fear of failure
No matter how great a business idea, or who the venture belongs to, failure can always occur, and it pays not just to remember this, but also not to be afraid of it. The biggest failure of all would be to never try, and if trying leads to failure, so be it. with self-doubt a consistent feature of many female entrepreneurs mindsets, losing the fear of failure is hard, but not impossible.
Female entrepreneurs face enough tough challenges, without financing being added to the list. To discover whether a bank loan or merchant cash advance could help your business take off, research your options and if necessary, chat to a financial expert for guidance.