By Yvonne Bynoe
As a business coach, I've yet to meet a woman entrepreneur who talks in epic terms. I don't know one woman who proclaims, "My business is going to radically change the marketplace like Apple did." Although women are starting businesses at a more rapid rate than men, their businesses are under-capitalized and remain small. You don't need an over-sized ego to create a $100,000, $250,000 or even a $1 million dollar a year business, but you do need to believe that you're capable of doing it. A major reason women entrepreneurs struggle in their businesses is they are unsure of their abilities.
Women in the U.S. generally have lower perceptions than men about their capabilities for starting a business, according to a 2011 study released by Babson College and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor.
This translates into a women entrepreneur:
Generally women entrepreneurs are not reaching their income potential because they are afraid of failure, so they don't take risks. Another reason that their incomes stall is because they don't have a resource-rich network. Women tend to socialize with other women like themselves.
However successful women entrepreneurs are intentional about engaging people who can support their businesses' growth and development. To paraphrase what Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in her TED talk, "More women entrepreneurs need to get seats at the tables where useful information is being exchanged, business relationships are being forged and lucrative deals are being done."
It doesn't matter whether your goal is to generate $50,000 a year or $500,000 a year (that's a personal matter). I coach women entrepreneurs to make a decision about the growth of their businesses based on their wants, desires and values---and not because they're afraid to reach higher.
Five Tips to Help Women Entrepreneurs "Play Bigger" In Their Businesses
1. Create a business plan that spells out how you are going to earn money in your business.
(BTW, it doesn't have to be long, formal or complex)
2. Claim your expertise. Be confident about the goods or service that you are selling.
3. Be pro-active about building a resource-rich network.
4. Seek out business mentors and coaches. Studies indicate that entrepreneurs with mentors show more sales, stay in business longer, hire more employees and generally are more successful.
5. Learn how to describe the "why" of your business. Potential clients and investors want to know the big idea that anchors your business.
Yvonne Bynoe is a certified business and marketing coach. She is the creator of Soul Affluence, a company that teaches women entrepreneurs how to position themselves as experts in their fields so that they can create 6 figure (and more) businesses, in any economy. Follow Yvonne on twitter @YvonneBynoe and visit http://www.soulfulaffluence.com/freegift.html