By Cristin Rigg, CFP®, CDFA

Thirty-six percent of all businesses are women-owned, and the number continues to grow. However, it’s still a struggle to make it as a female entrepreneur. A 2019 Columbia Business School study found that female-led ventures are 63% are less likely to receive VC funding — even though when female-led ventures do receive VC funding, they are just as likely to achieve exit outcomes through IPOs or acquisitions.

The global pandemic has made all of these issues worse. Female entrepreneurs are struggling to find investors, manage remote work teams while juggling childcare, and cut operating costs.

Financial Tips and Strategies

While all of this information can be disheartening, don’t let it deter you. There are plenty of steps female entrepreneurs can take to achieve financial success.

  1. Think ahead about your finances, especially when it comes to taxes
    Plan and think ahead for yourself and your business. To mitigate risk, have frequent conversations with your accountant and financial team.
  2. Understand your finances inside and out
    Be diligent with your personal and business finances and review your credit card statements monthly. Be proactive with your budgets and track your success.
  3. Over-budget
    Make room for any unexpected expenses that might come up personally or as your business grows.
  4. Assess all of your options carefully
    Seeking funding for your business can be intimidating, but many funding opportunities exist, such as loans, grants, venture capital, and crowdfunding. Review all your options and know what you are getting into.
  5. Find a good mentor
    Here are some surprising statistics: Almost half-of female founders (48%) cite a lack of available mentors as holding them back. Ninety two percent of small business owners agree that mentors have a direct impact on their businesses’ growth and survival, and 89% of small business owners who didn’t have a mentor wish that they did. What makes a good business mentor? They share hands-on business wisdom, helping you make better decisions and avoid costly mistakes. You can find a good mentor through networking.
  6. Network with other women
    According to research from Northwestern University, women who communicate regularly with a female-dominated inner circle are more likely to attain high-ranking leadership positions. The study found that 75% of high-ranking women maintained a female-dominated inner circle or strong ties to two or three women with whom they communicated frequently. When you have a network of trusted relationships, it can help your business grow. Not sure where to start? Seek out local resources. People want to support businesses who are making a positive impact in their communities, and so they might invest wisdom and/or money in your business.
  7. Own your accomplishments
    Women are more likely than men to downplay their own contributions and accomplishments, worrying they will come off as overconfident — but confidence is necessary to succeed. Silence that inner critic and build yourself up like you would for another female entrepreneur seeking advice.

Grow Your Business with Harris Financial Advisors, Inc.

These are all important tips and strategies that female entrepreneurs should consider implementing to grow their businesses. Women need to work hard to get access to the funding opportunities, resources, and support they need to succeed. We are here to help. Contact Harris Financial Advisors today.