No doubt, both working women and business women battle glass ceilings, unequal pay and stereotypical obstacles in the corporate or business environment. With the growth of the internet, networking and technology, the face of business today has changed and new challenges and solutions have come into play.
Let’s take a look at some of the business challenges facing women today:
Business Challenge 1: Cash Flow Shortage
You might have the best idea out there, but with insufficient funding even the best business plan is doomed to fail. In simple terms cash flow can be defined as income/revenue generated (cash in) and expenses made (cash out). If this is not in balance a business is bound to fail. And the harsh reality is that your suppliers, vendors, creditors or staff want to be paid in a timely manner!
Solution: Look closely at your balance sheet and see if you have a lag in the time you need to pay for expenses and get paid from your clients. If you find a gap you can work around this and take the necessary steps to rectify the issue. You can also offer your clients different ways to pay you, including Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Interac Email Transfers to get funds sooner. Also track all of your expenses – big and small. You might discover that you can save more than you anticipate every month.
Business Challenge 2: Define Your Market
A lot of people jump into a business without doing the market research necessary for success. Finding your niche is critical to business growth and success. The more specific the niche the better. Once you have your niche you can now start to find your ideal clients.
Solution: To find your ideal clients you can do several things. Firstly, start marketing in places where your clients are. So for example, if you offer management coaching, reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce or advertise in online and local business publications. You can also optimize your website with local SEO in your target area so you can be found through specific keywords. Make sure to craft a clear message that speaks directly to your customer.
Business Challenge 3: Network, Network, Network!
Still cold calling potential leads? Today we know that referral marketing and networking, is by far the best way to build trust and a long-term business relationship. It is also the best way to procure new clients and corporate or Federal contracts.
Networking with like-minded women within a community can lead to joint venture partnerships and give you just the break you need to get your foot in the door and take your company to new heights.
Solution: Being part of a vibrant community of business women like WBEC-West is a great way to network, attend business matchmaking events, collaborate, build referrals and find new business.