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The Number 1 Reason Why Women Don’t Start Their Own Businesses

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female entrepreneurs

If you were to ask women who work full-time and want to start a business, why they haven’t done so yet, what do you think their reason would be? Is it lack of money? Contrary to popular belief, the number one reason I am given is NOT money. Instead, they mention a 4 letter word over and over again. That 4 letter word is…FEAR.

When I speak to these women about why they haven’t started the businesses they desire, they ask me questions such as:

  • What if I fail and have to go back to my 9-5? (fear of failure)
  • What if my business takes off faster than I can keep up with it? (fear of success)
  • What if I can’t balance working full-time, my family, and starting a new business? (fear of the unknown)
  • What if my family and friends don’t support my new business? (fear of not being supported)
  • What if I can’t make a consistent income?  What about benefits and a retirement fund? (fear of the unknown)

All of these questions are wrapped in fear. Have you asked any of them yourself? Have any of them kept you locked in a job in which you are not happy? If you answered “yes” to ANY of these questions, you are not alone. Unfortunately for many women, they never get to experience the incredible feeling of being their own boss.

However, this does not have to be the case! So, how do you eliminate these fears, so that you can begin the journey of owning your own business?  

Below, are 4 simple steps you can take today to kick fear to the curb for good:

1. Create a success mindset

Your mindset is the number one asset you need to have in order to have a successful business. Your thoughts determine your level of success, and therefore they must be positive and encouraging. One strategy you can use to create a success mindset is visualization. It involves you creating a mental account of a major milestone in your business (i.e. getting your first paying client, achieving your first 5 figure month, etc.).

Write out this account in very vivid detail. Include such things as what you are wearing, what you are saying, what you are doing, etc. when you experience that milestone. Play this picture over and over in your mind every single day.

“The mind is just like a muscle – the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets and the more it can expand.”- Idowu Koyenikan

2. Set 3-5 business goals at the beginning of each week

This helps you set the tone for the week, and it keeps you focused on growing your business. SMART Goals are a very effective method to use to ensure you set meaningful goals. SMART Goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. An example of a SMART Goal may be: by the end of the week, I will apply for my business license. Halfway through the week, check on how you are progressing toward reaching your goals. At the end of the week, reflect on how well you did in achieving those weekly goals.

 

3. Schedule time to work on your business daily

Scheduling at least 30 minutes per day to work on your business helps you with time management. It can be extremely difficult starting a business while working full-time and balancing a family. This is why time management is extremely important to the growth and success of your business. If all you are able to do that day is post on social media about your business, that counts.

By letting even one day go by without working, can lead to multiple days going by. Before you know it, a whole week has passed.  It then becomes more difficult to work it back into your daily schedule. After a while, your business is no longer a priority. This could then lead to you giving up on it.

“This is the key to time management – to see the value of every moment.” – Menachem Mendel Schneerson

4. Create a strong support system

Surrounding yourself with people who are also on the same journey to entrepreneurship, can be very beneficial to the success of your business. They can add that extra support and motivation you may need to help you grow. Having an accountability partner, business coach, and/or mentor can also help you avoid making costly business mistakes.

Set up a plan to check in with your support system at least once a week. During that time, discuss what has gone well for you that week and also the challenges you faced. Having a sounding board can help you find solutions to those challenges.

Do not allow fear to keep you from starting your business any longer. Instead, implement these strategies so that you can be well on your way to having your own successful and profitable business.

What is a reason you have for not starting your own business? Leave your thoughts below!

Beverly Walthour, a Business Strategist & Success Coach for professional women who work full-time and want to start an online business. She empowers them with the strategies, resources, clarity and support needed to plan, launch, and grow their business. For more information, check out her website: beverlywalthour.com. Grab her FREE guide to Eliminate the Fear of Starting Your Online Business: http://bit.ly/eliminatefear.

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Tadeusz

    Jan 18, 2017 at 1:41 pm

    Because for many women, own business is not as important as other activities (including family).
    Also for many others, there are too few privileges to have own business on real market.

  2. Karen McGowan

    Dec 8, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Hi Beverly – Appreciate your supporting women in business! I have been dabbling at this sort of thing for years as a sideline. Been doing some of your suggestions here – but intermittently. Now I’m retired from my job, and trying to decide how to pursue it. First year of retirement was very discombobulated! Selling home – buying a fixer-upper – moving etc. Now getting settled & trying to determine where to go with my home business. I’ve had this website for over a year, but only a little monetization. Now I’m thinking of going in a new direction, but still working on which direction. I’ll be checking in to your FB group for sure!

  3. Randy Hough

    Dec 4, 2016 at 11:58 pm

    From my experience, which is manufacturing, the reason few women start that type of business is simply because they are generally too considerate of others. That’s not a cliche, just an observation.
    They seem to care more about the group, relationships, fairness, etc. My wife, who has been in non-profits her entire career, and I have this sort of discussion all the time.
    When I used to describe what went on at work she could scarcely believe me. In my opinion, the ideal would be to have teams of men and women managing things.

  4. Shirley Chevalier

    Aug 30, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Great article, Beverly, and very timely for me. I am so happy to see you making such great strides. Can’t wait to read your next article! I am making progress towards establishing my business and am feeling good about my progress. The key, as you said, is to make goals and keep moving.

  5. Jessica

    Aug 29, 2016 at 5:05 am

    This was wonderful ! I just started my online business and hope to have a physical store one day !

    • Beverly Walthour

      Aug 30, 2016 at 12:25 am

      Congratulations on your new business Jessica! What kind of business do you have?

  6. Beverly Walthour

    Aug 28, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I am so happy you are enjoying my article. If you ever have any questions about starting and growing your business, please feel free to contact me!

  7. Angie

    Aug 27, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Thanks for sharing Beverly! This is very inspiring to us all.

    • Beverly

      Aug 28, 2016 at 2:34 am

      You’re welcome Angie! I’m glad you found it inspiring!

  8. Silvia Turonova

    Aug 26, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Beverly this was a great article. I am a young woman, and my biggest desire is to have my own business, something that I can create so others can benefit from it. 9-5 schedule is scary for me, and I can’t see myself there for a long run. Your article had some insightful thoughts, and I believe it will inspire every woman who gets across. Thank you for sharing.

    • Beverly Walthour

      Aug 28, 2016 at 2:37 am

      Thank you Silvia! I definitely wish I would have started my businesses earlier in life, but I know I’m here at this point for a reason. If you ever have a question about getting started with your business, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at: beverly@beverlywalthour.com. Much success in your future endeavors!

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Startups

How to Create a Winning Startup Culture

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Some time back, in my infographic on 51 Business Mistakes that most Entrepreneurs Make, I had outlined that one of the biggest mistakes is that you do not give any thought as to what you consider would be a great startup culture. And, without good policies or HR to keep things in check, the startup begins to develop a toxic business culture. (more…)

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51 Mistakes That Can Sabotage Your Dream Startup

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So you’ve got an idea. You know it will work. And, it means the world to you.

You are an entrepreneur and you think you can rock the world with this one idea that matters to you the most. And, you set out to form the idea into a startup that you are going to nurture and develop into a blooming business in the upcoming years.

However, I don’t want to throw water over your dreams but, I do need to bring this “optimist” you into the hard and cold reality…….. the reality which says that 90% of all startups fail.

Of course, this can bring a great deal of uncertainty into your life and you got to be prepared to deal with it. You are also going to face a ton of challenges in your life which will force you to grow as an entrepreneur. But, the important thing is that you stick with it.

Of course, as Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s friend) once said, “All I Want to Know is Where I’m Going to Die So I’ll Never Go There”. No entrepreneurs want their startups to fail after putting in days and weeks of effort into it.

So, a lot of research has been put forward into knowing what does actually sabotage a startup?

Fortune reported that the single biggest reason startups fail was because they do not identify what the market wants before setting up their startup.

However, it isn’t as simple as that. An entrepreneur needs to perform a comprehensive business plan before he sets out with his business idea. Also, you have to know whether your business idea actually suits you or not. If it doesn’t then, you either you need to fine-tune yourself with your business idea or you need to change the business plan so that it suits you.

And, it is only after that, should you venture upon your startup.
Now, is that all? Of course not. The problem most entrepreneurs face when they first begin their entrepreneurial journey is that they don’t know what they don’t know.

That’s where they tend to make a series of mistakes that may cause great harm to their startup.

That’s why I scoured for successful entrepreneurs to provide me with information on what they think were the most common mistakes that startups do. Plus, I also got tips on how to avoid these mistakes.

You can check out the original article here: 70 Mistakes Startups Make And Tips On How You Can Avoid Them

Now, it’s your turn to do some work. Let me know what you thought of these mistakes and tips that entrepreneurs commit. Do you know of any other mistakes that entrepreneurs do? Comment below!

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8 Key Factors That Discourage Investors From Putting Money Into Your Startup

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how to find funding for your startup
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Today’s ideas are tomorrow’s winning businesses. Ideas executed brilliantly and with proper investment bring your business success. That is how the world of business got the likes of Apple, Google, McDonald’s, Amazon and so on.

But why in spite of the brilliant and promising ideas at the core of their business, many startups fail to attract investors? Why do investors hesitate to put their money into some startups? Well, investors have reasons and only by deciphering these reasons we could get hold of some deterrent factors that hold them back.

Let us explain some of the vital factors that prevent investors from putting their money in the startups below:

1. Inefficiency or Absence of Leadership Qualities

Inefficiency is the most significant deterrent factor for pulling the success of most startups. This can also be referred to as the lack of leadership qualities. Investors always want to make sure that they don’t lose their money through a company that has an extraordinary business model but no efficient and skilled business leader to make it successful. When fetching investment from investors, you need to offer a clear prospect and detailed plan of how you are going to achieve the goals.

2. Lack of Trustworthiness

An investor puts his money on a venture purely on the basis of the credibility and trustworthiness of the business. This is why besides having a sound business plan with clear objectives, you need to establish the integrity in terms of the security of the investor’s money and how the fund is going to be invested to give results as per business plan.

If an investor has a feeling that the startup may not have enough customers to fulfil its financial liabilities or if it finds that the business is hiding some information, it may further push the trust of the investors down. Total transparency and establishing the faith of the business brand are crucial for finding investors in favor.

3. Lacking Experience in Business Management

You have a great business idea backed up by a sound business plan and solid trustworthiness based on your background, but you have zero experience in managing a business. This is a serious reason for an investor to deny making any investment in your business. An investor cannot put his money just to allow you trying and learning your management skills the harder and riskier way. Uncertainty is the single biggest turn-off factor for any investor and lack of managerial experience is synonymous to that.

4. Business Model is Not Sound Enough

You have a business idea, some efficient, competent and experienced professionals as leaders, the great stamp of trust and pretty much everything that make a company look promising. But what about your business strategy and business model? Are they sound enough to take on the market competition and challenges for business growth? Well, this is what investors are most interested in.

In most cases, a business model is what makes an investor think twice and even take a backward step from investing in a startup. After all, your business model and strategy will decide how your business and products will be able to withstand competition and become victorious.

5. Taking Investors for Granted

This is a big mistake on the part of many startups. Just by becoming confident in the potential and the soundness of the business model and prospect, a business can consider getting investors on board requires just a little effort and time. But in reality, getting investors on board is the toughest thing a business can think of.

This is why without proper and meticulous preparation, it would be foolish to approach investors for your business. Most investors receive hundreds of such emails and a similar number of approaches through other means and they coldly just let them pass. This is why you need to send them very detailed proposals backed by strong recommendations and referrals.

6. Targeting the Wrong Investor

Every business has a target customer base, right? Not all customers are interested in every product in the market. Similarly, not all investors are interested in your business. Investors based on their prior experience and industry exposure, put their money in businesses that they know like their own palm of their hand.

So, targeting an investor who has no interest in your business will only drain your energy and bring you unnecessary frustration. When you are seeking investors for your software startup, don’t approach someone investing in real estate business.

7. Non-Realistic Proposal for Funds

Investors normally come with huge experience of your industry and so they have a clear idea about the fund requirements for your business startup. Moreover, they already have invested in other ventures or have gone through many proposals. Naturally, they have every bit of estimate already in their mind. So, any proposal claiming a lofty and unrealistic amount will only face rejection.

This is why it would be wise to become meticulous about your estimation of the required fund and calculation of various cost factors. Have meticulous details about every facet of investment backed up by breakup of the costs. Only when you can convince them with correct estimation, investors can take interest in discussing the matter further.

8. Make Sure Your Product Solves a Customer Problem

Will any investor put money in building a simple calendar app now? No, simply because such an app idea has no value for the end users now. Will an investor put money in a product that has already been outdated and has no use? No, no investor has to even go through such a proposal for dismissing them.

Well, to fetch investment, your product must be thoroughly customer-centric. It not only has to solve a problem but has to deliver some competitive value in comparison to similar products in the market.

Obviously, finding an investor for a new business is not an easy task, considering the huge competition that businesses need to deal with. But, if your business idea is unique and you fill all those requirements correctly as mentioned above, finding investors may not be as tough as it sounds.

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5 Must Have Branding Tools for Your Startup

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Your brand is more than just the colors on your website. And for startups, it’s important to create a strong and memorable brand from the beginning if you want to stand out from the competition, scale your company, and find your ideal customers faster.

Here are 5 simple tools that will help your company avoid branding mistakes, take charge of your visual identity, and set a solid foundation for future growth:

1. Graphic Design Software

The word “design” doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Before deciding on your startup’s logo, colors, designs, and overall tone, consider working with a brand strategist who can translate the core ingredients of your startup into a visual identity that speaks to your target market.

Brand strategists have expertise in the psychology of colors, shapes, textures, and words, and they will work with you to make sure that your branding appeals to your target audience. Once you have those basics of your brand established, there are several tools that can help your company refresh and maintain your visual identity.

The absolute best graphic design tool for non-designers is Canva. While the free version has a lot of functionality, the paid plans offer more customization such as the ability to import your exact brand fonts and colors.

But if your company handles all of your design in-house, you will need something more advanced than Canva. In that situation, I would recommend Adobe Creative Cloud to startups who work on their designs in-house, as it includes top-notch design software like Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, InDesign, and more.

“Branding is what people say about you when you are not in the room – Jeff Bezos

2. Visuals & Creative Imagery

Have you ever wondered where your competitors get those beautiful branded photographs that end up on their website? While it’s possible that they worked with a photographer, it’s also likely that much of their imagery comes from stock photos.

Here are my recommendations on the exact places to purchase stock imagery to improve your company’s branding:

  • Creative Market – A treasure trove of quality visual imagery where you can buy anything from stock photos, to branding mockups, to social media templates (Facebook cover photo, anyone?), to custom fonts… the options are nearly endless.
  • Adobe Stock – Beloved by designers, and the platform offers tiered pricing plans based on your image needs and download quantity.
  • Pixels – If you’re on a tight budget and just need to grab an image or two for a blog post, you may be able to find what you need on Pixels – which is great because all of the photos and videos on Pixels are free!

3. Social Media Scheduler

You’re a leader. You’re an entrepreneur. Your staff, board, funders, and admirers depend on you to make big decisions, lead the ship, and plot the vision towards your company’s future. You don’t have time to stare at a blank screen every day wondering what to post on Facebook.

By using a social media scheduling tool, you can sit down for a few hours, schedule batches of content, and schedule the dates and times when it will post to your accounts over the next couple of months. Then, once the content is posted, you only need to worry about responding to comments and engaging with your customers. 21st century efficiency at its finest.

Popular social media schedulers include Buffer and Hootsuite, both of which include free and paid plans. Not sure what exactly to post? Check out these social media ideas from influential businesses. And if the idea of writing and planning months of content still overwhelms you, our next tool will help you stay organized and on-brand.

4. Editorial Calendar

When it comes to your content, it’s time to step it up a notch and start thinking like a media outlet. Every piece of content that you put out as a company, whether it’s an e-mail blast, blog post, social media post, podcast, or video, needs to be aligned with your brand.

Each major magazine maintains an editorial calendar which outlines the overarching theme for each of the upcoming 12+ months. By establishing a monthly content theme in advance, they create a framework to generate and organize their ideas.

Consider creating an internal editorial calendar that will guide your startup’s content over the next 6-12 months. The software tool you use to maintain your editorial calendar isn’t that important — I like to use Trello, but you can also create a simple numbered list in Google Docs or Microsoft Excel. You may be surprised at how quickly the creative juices flow once you have an editorial calendar in place.

“Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” – Paul Rand

5. In-Person Networking

Offline efforts count towards your branding too! And if you run your entire startup from behind your laptop screen, you miss out on ample opportunities to build your business offline and gain local referral partners.

If you’re new to in-person networking, start by visiting Meetup.com or Eventbrite.com where you can browse for events in your area. Think outside the box when it comes to selecting events to attend. For example: If you’re a chiropractor, it makes sense to attend local holistic health meetups. But you could also attend a travel event and meet digital nomads who don’t yet realize that a chiropractor can help them recover after long plane rides.

Remember that you’re not at the networking event to make instant sales, you’re looking for referral partners and connections. Don’t be the person who tries to shove your sales pitch down everyone’s throat upon meeting them.

As you can see, there are many simple online and offline resources that can help you spruce up your branding, reach new customers, and pique the interest of your target market. If you take branding one step at a time and start with the tools above, you will be well on your way to creating a brand that your customers will cherish and remember.

Have you used any of these branding tools before? Are there any additional tools that have helped your startup’s branding shine? Share your thoughts below!

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