Tips to know when trying to secure funding as a female entrepreneur

by Curswell Tshihwela 


Starting a business is never an easy decision.  Starting a company isn’t always easy, and it’s critical you work on something that means a lot to you. Whether it’s picking a business idea, creating a business plan or attempting to secure funding, a lot of things can go wrong. However, with a solid idea and a strong support system, a woman can become a successful entrepreneur who is strongly business minded.

Let everyone know what you’re doing such as your friends, your family members, even your acquaintances – should know which industry you are in and exactly what you are doing. People around you are usually your first customers, and it is an easy way to kick-start your business. This ensures that when it comes to the product or service you are selling, you will be the first person on everyone’s minds. There are a lot of like-minded women building businesses and groups focused on women entrepreneurs. Some are locally based, industry-based, even nationally based. Participate in those groups and create your network of other women entrepreneurs.

Whether it’s referring a new client, an investor, or just someone to vent about the challenges of running a business, no one can empathize with your situation better than another female entrepreneur who went or currently going through the same struggle. Be decisive in your decision-making. Each day is different in your responsibilities as a business owner; be diligent in solving problems and challenges along the way. In doing so, you will have more time and resources to grow your business. Be as specific as possible about who your audience is. Identify your ideal customer and which communities you should target. Choose a single community to serve at first and stick with that community as long as possible. 

Tailor your product, your messaging and your entire process toward that specific community, and only expand when you have to. In this way, you’ll ensure a strong product-market fit and learn how to let your customers lead you where you need to go. Not having a clear picture of what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur could result in many challenges as you grow and scale your business. Having concrete goals will allow you to create more defined objectives that will, in turn, make it easier to execute your goals and make your entrepreneurial journey a little clearer. A lot of women out there deal with feeling symptoms of ‘impostor syndrome.’ It holds so many people back, the second-guessing, the fear. If you know what you’re doing is worthy, absolutely no one can stop you, not even yourself. Focus on the areas in which your company creates value and makes your customers happy. 

Don’t be afraid of pursuing an unexpected path. Although there are educational entrepreneurial programs, nothing can really prepare you for the real-life hurdles of owning a business. Find a solid mentor or mentor(s) to coach you, introduce you to people and bounce ideas off of. Women often underestimate their own potential and fail to dream big enough. It is important to tap into the inner reason behind your business and really think about the legacy you want to leave behind. Believe you can do it and you are most of the way there. Entrepreneurship does not follow any “hockey stick-like” projection and looks more like a staircase at best. It is important to maintain confidence and believe that the rocky journey is worth it because the world needs your impact.

The businesses women who start businesses are usually ones that help make the world a better place. Once women get equipped with the right tools and knowledge, we will see an innovative business landscape that is diverse, tolerant and looking to better the world.

Twitter @curswell4; Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn @Curswell Tshihwela

 

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