The idea of building a business, in general, is not an easy feat. It may seem it comes naturally to a few, but these successful entrepreneurs may come from a family line of business owners. Or they are just “lucky.”
For women like you and me, building a business is a life-altering decision and experience, just like everything else in a woman’s life – getting married, having kids, starting a blended family. Okay, starting any new project in life can be scary, but starting a business as a woman has its unique challenges and solutions.
It’s a norm for women to face limiting blocks in their journey through life – not limited to gender identity alone, but because of our gender as women. Most times, we place this limiting block on ourselves, or subconsciously because it’s what we derived from the society around us.
It is natural for women to be nurturers, and we are expected to take care of other people’s needs before our own. However, as a business owner, you need first to have the mindset of a solution provider. So before you step into the position of businesswoman, think as a nurturer customizing your solutions to your customers’ needs as you nurture your relationship with your customers.
Also, as women, we are self-judgemental in nature. We always question our motives, thoughts and ambitions before we seek second opinions.
- Am I ready for the responsibility of running a business?
- Will I succeed as an entrepreneur?
- Will I be able to cater to my family’s needs and those of my business at the same time?
- Will people believe the intention of my business?
- Will I, Could I, Should I and When I?
Most of these questions are valid questions and ones an individual must come full circle with while building their business. If you notice, I stated “while building” not “before starting” a business. Why?
Time waits for no one.
If you choose to wait it out until it’s the right time to start your business, chances are your solutions will have been provided by someone else. Change is the only constant factor in the world. Take the first step towards your business today, and adapt as the market evolves.
To communicate the good intentions of your business, you have to be decisive in your decision-making process. Your business plan will have a clear picture of the problem you intend to solve and the solutions you offer. With clear business goals, you will;
- identify your target audience and your ideal customer,
- understand how the problem affects customers’ lives,
- be able to customize your business solution to customer needs – yet, making it adaptable to the changes in both your market and customers’ needs, and, most of all,
- you will be able to communicate in a voice best understood by your ideal customer.
In closing the gap between the value propositions of your business and your ideal customers, your customers will believe you are more than a business. Your business will be perceived as a concerned member of their community.
As women, we are natural growers and builders. Women build relationships, birth and raise children, encourage fellow women on their journey to success, help spouses be the best versions of themselves and be the best partners in building a family and much more. If these come naturally to women, why should building a business be a dreadful experience?
What does it mean to be an entrepreneur or a business owner?
A business owner is a solution provider. Your business idea does not need to be original. In looking around your immediate environment, you may have observed that existing solutions or business ideas seem outdated and you have a better idea of how to improve it. In essence, you could offer your solution to your ideal customer as a solution to their problem that has now evolved and needs something fresh.
Now, you have your business idea. Where do you start? You could go through any of the following routes:
- Do the footwork yourself, trying to figure it out on your own as you go, but remember the dangers of wasting time
- Seek a mentor who has succeeded in your chosen path, however, remember to protect your business idea – it is highly valued intellectual property
- Look for the help of a professional organization that will help you from the start of your journey to build a sustainable business
If you chose to get the help of a professional organization, you have made the right decision saving your time and resources to develop your business. Here is where community economic development organizations like the Women’s Economic Council (WEC) come in. I wrote about them last week. You can check out my blog here
Your success as a female entrepreneur is an achievement that should be celebrated globally because, according to Lisa Kingo, CEO and Executive Director of UN Global Compact, “The full participation of women in the economy could add US$ 28 trillion dollars to the global GDP and make real progress toward achieving the Global Goals.”
On this note, no need for worries. The world is your oyster. You are in a position to take the opportunities life has to offer and, in turn, contribute to providing sustainable solutions that transform lives.
You are a woman in business. To your success, boss lady!
Chinedu Jennifer Nzom is a Copywriter from Nigeria. She lives with her family of 4 in Ottawa, Ontario. She writes copy that help companies achieve their business goals and build relationships with their customers.