In today’s podcast episode, I would like to address the topic of “Female Entrepreneurship” and clarify the question of what actually distinguishes successful from unsuccessful female entrepreneurs. You guessed it. To answer this question already turns out to be very difficult, because the term “success” is very diverse. To me, success is “colorful,” it’s not always the same narrative of “higher, further, faster.” You can be equally successful in your volunteer work, within your family structures, or in your hobbies. Accordingly, I can already reject all those who may have expected a blanket statement here.
What factors are needed for successful entrepreneurship?
In terms of entrepreneurship, however, there are at least some “success factors” that, while not guaranteeing that you will be good at what you do. However, the probability of more success is neatly increased. Since it would be quite beyond the scope of the podcast to go into all the factors, today I have brought you at least as inspiration 5 points that essentially matter if you want to be not only a founder, but also an entrepreneur.
The 5 success factors of female entrepreneurship in brief:
- Your own vision
- Professional storytelling
- A strong network
- Know your finances
Find and use your vision
I’ll start right away with the most important criterion, your own vision. If you don’t have an idea of the feeling you want to trigger in your customers with your product/service, you won’t be able to sell it. A vision is like a guiding star, it drives you and lets you overcome doubts in difficult times.
You can think of a vision as a snapshot from the future. This is not simply a matter of sales or disdainful figures. Rather, it’s about value creation, your impact, or even the purpose or why of your business. There are countless terms you can draw on here. I like to refer to the “just” cause of the author Simon Sinnek. This is about serving a just purpose through your entrepreneurial actions.
Seriously now, making money is not reprehensible. However, carrying this intention in front of you as a message will not necessarily find support and will not motivate you in the long run.
A vision goes far beyond monetary goals. Here it is more important to think about what drives you, what you want to change and maybe even leave behind in this world.
Storytelling: What is your story?
The second point is professional storytelling. Having a vision is one thing, but talking/writing about it is almost as important. You may be familiar with the term “personal branding” in this context. In order to explain to other people who you are, what you stand for and how they can support you, it is important to engage in a conversation with them, because people usually follow people and not products.
So if you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you should start talking more about your why and not just about products or services.
Create a strong network
The third success factor is a strong network. As the saying goes:
If You Want to Go Fast, Go Alone. If You Want to Go Far, Go Together.African Proverb
Don’t get lost in your self-promotion. Networking is not about talking about you and your business all day. It’s never wrong to provide insight, but if you want others to support you, give them space to connect with you.
How I network myself
I love to give the virtual stage to other strong Role Models in FemalExperts Magazine as editor and author and thus strengthen their reach. I want them to be seen, no matter how many followers they have.
As a three-time mentor and also as a trainer, this attitude is just as much a lived reality for me, because you don’t always have to claim the stage for yourself. When you give your time, expertise and empathy to others, you’ll see that you get back more than you probably ever expected.
Know your finances
But now you are probably asking yourself: All right, but how can I then also become financially successful? Well, on the one hand, by diligently implementing all the previously mentioned factors, and on the other hand, by keeping your finances under control.
What do I mean by that specifically?
The be-all and end-all of starting a business is your business plan. I know you don’t want to hear that because it’s exhausting to write this one, BUT: You wouldn’t trust an architect or civil engineer who didn’t draw a construction plan for your house and calculates material and personnel costs “by feel”, would you?
One of my favorite quotes is often in this context:
Jump, but jump with a plan.Kinga Bartczak
Put your focus on the financial plan first and foremost. While your business goals, content and operations can change at any time, it’s important that you don’t get financially strapped during the startup and establishment process. By the way, I don’t just mean the expenses for your salary or for material and other personnel costs. Please keep in mind that your business may even be your retirement plan, accordingly you should have a clear overview of what reserves need to be set aside. So, if you are one of those people who like to ignore bills or secretly hide the letters from the tax office in the drawer saying: “I’m bad at math and can’t do it”, then I advise you to change your attitude, because financial education can help you keep your business afloat in times of crisis. If the topic of financial literacy is of particular interest to you, feel free to let me know and I’ll record a separate podcast episode on it.
More structure for a successful business
And that brings me to the last point, which is structure. Of course, I could have chosen other points, such as mindset or leadership skills, which are certainly just as important as an entrepreneur. However, I think the whole issue of structure is too neglected, which is why I prefer it. Structuring yourself is essential to avoid getting bogged down in unimportant to-dos. As an entrepreneur, you should always keep one thing in mind: Time is money, and to an even greater extent than you may know or have known as an employee.
Individual slots for recurring activities
My tips would be to set social media slots, i.e. you don’t scroll through the social media for hours, but set a goal (like, comment, produce yourself…) and then do only that.
For projects, I would recommend agile working methods, for example, you could work with a Kanban board (Trello) and work through your tasks in a targeted manner with it, instead of going wild and not knowing at the end which point you started with.
Measure your successes
A professional dashboard, a time tracking tool or a simple Excel spreadsheet can be used to monitor your success, because you don’t want to shimmy from project to project, but you want to be able to track your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and see whether your time is being invested wisely.
Your own success criteria
At the beginning, I had already stated that success is something highly individual. Therefore, you should define your own KPIs with which you can check how high the bounce rate is for first calls or how successfully your newsletter performs. If you would like to learn more here as well, please feel free to write me and I will devote myself to this topic again.
The motivation is crucial
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether you choose digital or analog tools: Structure creates security and thus contributes significantly to motivation, because at the end of the day you also have the feeling that you have “accomplished” something.
After all, as an entrepreneur, you are usually your biggest supporter and your strongest critic, and both can only be done constructively if you stay motivated.
My conclusion on successful Female Entreprenuership
I hope I was able to give you a little inspiration or even courage with the podcast episode on the way. The decision to start your own business and to actively address the topic of female entrepreneurship is already a big step.
I’d be interested in your thoughts on this podcast episode as well – what’s your take on this topic? What success factors are particularly crucial for you in this context? Feel free to get in touch with me, I look forward to sharing with you!
Want more Female Entreprenuership?
Then why not download the Female Entrepreneurship Guide? In it, I show you how to purposefully start your own business and confidently lead it as a woman.