Fed Up With Your Job? Start Your Own Business
It is National Women’s Small Business Month. This month, we celebrate the women who take that brave entrepreneurial step towards building the businesses of their dreams.
Starting a business can be a big challenge. As a woman, it may be even more difficult because you may have to face additional barriers. According to an article by Katie Vlietstra, the vice president for government relations and public affairs for the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE), the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, came out with a report that stated “women-owned businesses are a $3 trillion economic force and support 23 million jobs, but still face significant barriers compared to their male-owned counterparts when it comes to obtaining loans and growing their businesses.”
Despite these barriers, 29 percent of entrepreneurs are women. For the last 20 years, they have been starting more businesses then men. Now, with the power of telecommunications and outsourcing companies, a small business can do almost the same number of things as a big business. There has never been a better time to start a business on a smaller budget.
If your company needed an excellent drop shipper to fulfill international orders for merchandise, it could use Amazon.com. Amazon has warehouses all over the world and their fulfillment services are among the best. If your company needed end-to-end service management, it could utilize an offering like Astea field service management software to handle specific business operations. For instance, it could use this kind of outsourcing for tasks like mobile-workforce management, which would be either too expensive or time-consuming to do on your own. Also, if your company needed to use highly specialized software that it could not afford to buy, it could use the power of a cloud-based software program through a Service as a Solution (SaaS). There are many ways to start a business; and while it is a huge challenge, we also have access to more tools now more than ever.
Shattering the Glass Ceiling
There is a quiet revolution afoot, but it’s not the same one that began in the 1970s. At that time, women fought against their traditional roles as wives and mothers and entered the workforce in large numbers. Now, the revolution is no longer about breaking away from a role as a homemaker, instead it’s about opting out of corporate jobs.
There are numerous reasons for this movement away from corporate jobs.
Here are a few of the most common:
- It takes women many more years to climb up the corporate ladder than men. An unacknowledged gender bias, referred to as the glass ceiling, often keeps many from getting the promotion they deserve.
- Women may not get the same pay as a man for the same work. However, due to many corporate policies, employees are prohibited from salary comparison. In some companies, they can even be fired for talking about how much they earn.
- Dealing with corporate politics can be exhausting. There are numerous rules and regulations to follow, many of them grandfathered from an early era in the company’s history where they actually made sense.
- Working days are often long, and there may also be long commutes.
- In the final analysis, corporate jobs rarely create a sense of overall fulfillment because they require conformity over creativity.
By comparison, starting their own business offers women a larger number of rewards:
- The nature of the work aligns with personal values.
- Running their own business gives them the freedom to manifest creative ideas.
- The flexibility of owning a business allows for more work-life balance. They can use their business acumen while still maintaining family ties.
- There is no cap on how much they can earn from their hard work and initiative.
7 Ways to Start a Business:
There are innumerable types of businesses a woman can start. Here are a few ideas.
- Start a small business based on doing what you love. A niche business can be highly profitable. For example, becoming chocolatier or starting a graphics design business.
- Turn a good product into an even better one. Not all new products have to be built from scratch. They can be a spinoff from something people already use.
- Use an established idea. There are many old business ideas that are familiar to almost everyone and that bring in good money. For example, open a sandwich restaurant or a laundry mat.
- Monetize a hobby. Many women love writing, painting, or doing craftwork. These skills can easily be turned into careers.
- Teach something. Expertise in any area can be turned into a form of tutoring or coaching. Someone good in mathematics can create an income as an after-school tutor. Someone experienced in management techniques can become a consultant for people starting their own micro business.
- Buy a business. It is not necessary to build a business. It’s possible to just find a business that you would have liked to have built. This offers the added advantage of having fully tested out and worked out the kinks in your business idea. You can also reshape the business according to your own vision.
- Buy a franchise. A franchise has all the advantages of offering you a system to follow. The disadvantage, of course, is that there is little room for innovation.