At CreditEnable, we take our customer success very seriously. Given the male-dominated nature of the business world in India, it is sometimes more difficult for women entrepreneurs to start or run small businesses. In the 2021 financial year, women owned only 20.37% of all MSMEs in the country. This number is up from 13.72% in 2011, but we can always do better.
So, here are some tips we’ve collected from our credit experts and our CEO, Nadia Sood, on what you can do to help your small business succeed this year.
Your Business Will Take Some Time to Flourish
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither can your business. Building a successful business with a loyal customer base and a profitable turnover takes some time, so don’t rush the process. Take your time, improve your business plan, try out different products and business models, and eventually branch out into the e-commerce space to be able to meet your customers where they are right now.
Connect With Other Women Entrepreneurs
It is more difficult for women entrepreneurs to start businesses and access credit compared to their male counter partners. To help you overcome (or workaround) the barriers you may face, connect with other women entrepreneurs. They can mentor and support you in your professional journey, teach you the tricks of the trade, and how to balance your personal and professional life.
Don’t Shy Away from Being the Face of Your Business
It’s 2022, and conscious consumerism is becoming more common in India. Consumers want to know what’s going into their products, who is making them, and what impact the company is having on the environment. So, put out videos and images about your product and company that include you, make use of your social capital and allow people to connect with your brand on a more emotional level. Putting a face to the company will foster trust in your target audience and increase your brand credibility.
Have Confidence in Your Business and Yourself
Try not to doubt your business or yourself. You’re your businesses’ biggest advocate, and you’ve built it up to where it is today. While all entrepreneurs face moments of doubt, don’t let it overwhelm you and discourage you from taking your next steps.
“Imposter syndrome” is something women often face not just as an entrepreneur but also as students or professionals. Make a conscious effort to avoid second-guessing your decisions and develop coping methods to help with anxiety as your business grows. No one knows your business better than you, and you are the best person to lead it. So, stay strong, believe in yourself, and push through.
Get Formal Capital to Fund the Business
Since it is trickier for women entrepreneurs to get a formal business credit compared to men, many businesswomen in India tend to invest their savings or borrow money from friends and family to sustain their business. In other situations, the banking system can be so daunting that women entrepreneurs may prefer to keep their businesses small simply to avoid approaching a formal lender for business funding.
Credit should not stand in the way of your success. Using platforms like CreditEnable, you can easily get hassle-free business funding you need within days at competitive interest rates.
Formal credit also holds you accountable and keeps your business on track because you know you have an EMI to pay every month.
Build a Strong and Trustworthy Team
Handpick a team of hardworking and reliable employees. In a male-dominated sector, you may feel like you need to do everything yourself so that it is done just right, but if you hire the right people and train them well, you can delegate tasks so that you can focus on higher priority tasks.
Second, a small business owner usually handles all parts of the business themselves. But you may not have the skills needed to excel at digital marketing or product management. For such specialized functions, hire employees who have the required skills and trust that they will do their job right. It’s better to delegate these tasks to the specialists and oversee their work to ensure it is done well, rather than trying to do a mediocre job yourself. Over time, you can learn from your employees and build your skills and knowledge in these areas of the business.
Get Your Brand in Front of the Right Audience
Digital marketing and social media have made it easier than ever before to get your business in front of the right audience. Join Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and invest in paid advertising that targets your consumer. Some things you can do are:
- Collaborate with social media influencers to get the word out about your products.
- Ask real customers to review your products on their social media profiles.
- Identify small brands that complement your products and partner with them to offer their customers free samples or special discounts.
- Advertise on Spotify, JioSaavn, or Apple Music to increase your reach.
Remember to carve out some time for yourself
This is a tough one, we know that. We struggle with this as well. But as an entrepreneur, you’re always on the go, and you’re under constant stress. Try to block some time in your packed schedule for yourself. Exercise a bit, read a book, catch up with a friend, listen to your favourite music, do some yoga, cook. Whatever you need to de-stress, do that. Consider it your daily (or weekly) reset. Your business (and your body) will thank you.
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