Women entrepreneurs are like all entrepreneurs – they’re often overscheduled, take on too much at once, and spend more than their fair share of time focused on their businesses. As a woman, though, you might also have the big tasks of child-rearing and caring for the needs of your home and family added to your to-do list. In addition, women entrepreneurs might find it difficult to assert themselves and to let go of the little, minor details that come with running the business.
If this sounds like you, then you need to take some steps to be more effective in your role. Here are some tips to help you thrive and become more effective in your enterprise.
1. Start a business you're passionate about
If you’re not passionate about the business you’re starting, you might not have what it takes to see the project through in the face of competing priorities at home and work. When times get tough, it’s easier to give up on a project that you simply don’t love.
2. Look for help for women-owned businesses
To give yourself a leg up, look for resources that support women-owned businesses. In the U.S., that can include training and low-interest loans from the Small Business Administration, and special consideration for federal contracts. If you’re not sure where to start, work with a mentor, a business coach or a women’s networking group that can tip you off to opportunities.
3. Delegate more
Like many entrepreneurs, you might find it’s difficult to let your work go, leaving it in the hands of other people. But by making sound hiring decisions and choosing employees who are a good fit for your business, you should have enough trust in those people to delegate more of the little things. Doing so means you’ll be less stressed out – and, hopefully, that will lead to a better work-life balance. If you’re juggling duties at home and at work, as many women entrepreneurs are, every little task you can delegate means more time for you to enjoy your life.
4. Work on healthy confrontation
Many women leaders struggle with confrontation, but you have to get over that in order to succeed. Being at the head of a company means being able to see where the business is failing and finding solutions to make it work better. Sometimes, that means giving your employees a talking-to or instructing your staff in a new method of conducting business. Use the nurturing side of yourself to deliver feedback in a calm, constructive manner.
5. Don't be afraid to get tough
On the other hand, don’t hesitate to strike the hammer down when it’s necessary. Your employees might appreciate your ability to handle issues confidently and calmly, but when someone is really out of hand, you also need to demonstrate your authority. Have protocols in place for dealing with employee misconduct or productivity issues, and be sure to enforce them when necessary. Aim for a "tough but fair" mentality for handling employee issues. If you struggle with leadership tasks, consider attending a workshop, seminar or training program that helps you hone those skills.
By getting help where you can and working on the aspects of leadership where you might be lacking, you and your business will be on the road toward even more success.