Women, Start Your Own Business? Why not!

There has been something of  a theme emerging lately with many of my coaching clients, and discussions with course participants over the last few months. Many of them want to change the way they work, to be more in control of how and when they are working, and many of them are looking for alternative sources of income as they fear redundancy is a possibility.They want to run their own business.

A little questioning reveals that a lack of confidence is hampering their efforts to explore this option and take the first step.

Fear of Failure

They are not unusual. Studies have shown that  a third of the female population would start a business if it wasn’t for fear of failure. And that 21% of women start their own business so they can control the hours they work, compared with just 2% of  men.

Predictions about job losses during the economic downturn are suggesting that women will suffer disproportionately more than their male counterparts. So it shouldn’t be surprising to see an increase in small start ups coming from women.

Are You a Potential Businesswoman?

Running your own business is not for everyone. However, even if you are making a few extra pounds from selling cup cakes for weddings you are running your own business! Here are a few questions to consider which will help you think about your personality and whether running your own business could suit you:

  • What is your attitude towards risk?
  • Can you work alone?
  • Do you have an idea that really fills you with excitement? If you’re not enthusiastic who else will be?
  • How much money do you need to earn during your start up phase? Have you at least 3 months worth of income salted away?
  • How good are you at asking for advice?
  • How good are you at taking advice?
  • How do you cope with uncertainty?
  • How much in control do you need to be?
  • How much time can you put into a new venture? Starting a new business successfully invariably means putting in lost of extra time, even if you are only officially working on a part time basis. It’ll be in your head all the time, especially in the early stages.
  • How much support do you need? I don’t necessarily mean professionally (although of course that is important) but how much support do YOU need from friends, family etc. Can you continue to be enthusiastic in the teeth of scepticism from others? Others around you may not understand your desire for change and may, albeit subconsciously, try to deter you and point out the pitfalls. Are you strong enough?
  • Who will be your main supporter?
  • How do you deal with setbacks? In your experience to date, when things have gone wrong, how have you reacted?
  • What’s your attitude towards making mistakes?
  • Are you a doer or a reflector?
  • If you think about NOT doing this, how do you feel?

If you’re not sure of your answers to these questions, (and even if you are), try asking those who know you well what they think. I’m not suggesting that you ask them about business advice, I’ve always taken that from professionals. Instead, ask them to tell you how they think you answered the questions, and then ask them to tell you what they really think. And just listen. Don’t let negative responses put you off, but do take it into account when making your decision!


Posted on November 16th, 2010 by

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