If you’re a female entrepreneur, you may feel that it sets you apart. But how can you positively stand out and succeed as a female small business owner?

This guide will discuss what it means to be a woman in business, including: 

  • How many women own small businesses today
  • What sets women apart in small business
  • How to succeed as a female small business owner

How many women own small businesses today

So, what does it mean to be a woman in business? Women are less likely to start small businesses, but that number is growing. Today, female-owned businesses take up 32% of small businesses in the UK. Four years ago, women owned only 17% of UK small businesses. 

Despite the growth, still only one in three UK entrepreneurs is female. So, if you’re a female entrepreneur, you may feel out of place at times.  

What sets women apart in small business 

Knowing what it means to be a woman in business can help prepare you for the path to success. There are a few things women often experience differently than men. 

Finding work-life balance 

Women in business often struggle to balance their personal life and their small business. Being your own boss often means taking on many responsibilities of your small business. Since fewer women own small businesses in the UK, they may feel more pressured to put in the time and effort to succeed. This could lead to poor mental health and burnout. 

Also, if female entrepreneurs are mothers, they may feel pressured to provide primary parenting duties on top of their business responsibilities. People may judge them for prioritising business over their family more often than people judge men for this. This can make it difficult for them to focus on their small business. 

Even more, if female entrepreneurs happen to be single mothers, they might struggle to balance child care with their small business. They could benefit from greater child care support. This may require budgeting for child care expenses within their business plan. 

Fighting expectations 

Women may feel they need to fight for the respect of their male peers and disprove stereotypes surrounding their gender. 57% of working women believe unconscious bias impacts their success. Women may sometimes feel they’re not taken seriously as entrepreneurs.

Because of this, female entrepreneurs may have difficulty owning their accomplishments. They may want to avoid coming across as aggressive or intimidating to their peers. This image expectation can prove challenging when running a small business.   

Securing financing  

To grow your business, you may seek external funding. But, according to the Rose Review (2019), women-owned businesses are less likely to get financing for their business. This is despite the fact that studies find women are often better at money management. 

Having connections 

Women are also less likely to have relationships with other entrepreneurs. This isolation can make it more challenging for women to find support within the small business community. This support can help people grow their client base and form partnerships. 

How to succeed as a female small business owner 

Knowing what it means to be a woman in business may make it sound difficult. But there are some things you can do to succeed as a female entrepreneur. 

Establish a plan 

You may want to focus on strategic planning for your long term goals. Create a detailed business plan and stick to it, closely tracking milestones. You can also create a business budget so you can grow your business without financial problems. 

Detailed planning can help you fight expectations as a female business owner. You could look at the difficulties you face as a woman and plan how you’ll overcome them. 

Be confident and dedicated

Since female small business owners face expectations and stereotypes, they must work harder to succeed. This means pursuing your business strategy with confidence and dedication. 

Consider your small business goals and how they can help you defy expectations. Focus on your strengths. What do you bring to the table as a woman in business? 

Network with other female entrepreneurs 

Though being a female business owner can feel isolating, don’t be afraid to accept help. You can still build relationships by networking with other female entrepreneurs. Finding and interacting with other women can help you learn and benefit from one another. These women can help empower you to succeed. 

You can also seek female-led financing opportunities if you need financing for your business. 

To find other female entrepreneurs, look to platforms like LinkedIn or Facebook. You can join and connect with relevant groups on these sites. You can also look into organisations like the Female Entrepreneurs Association or the British Associations of Women Entrepreneurs

Be passionate about what you do  

As a small business owner, you’ll need to be passionate about what you do. That passion can help you succeed. You can remain dedicated to your business goals because of your interest. 

Also, try to learn more about your business and aim to grow with that knowledge. This prioritisation can ultimately help you succeed. 

Save time organising finances

As your business grows, you’ll need to manage your finances. Financial management can be stressful and time-consuming when you’re self-employed. That’s why thousands of business owners use the Countingup app to make their financial admin easier. 

Countingup is the business current account with built-in accounting software that allows you to manage all your financial data in one place. With features like automatic expense categorisation, invoicing on the go, receipt capture tools, tax estimates, and cash flow insights, you can confidently keep on top of your business finances wherever you are. 

You can also share your bookkeeping with your accountant instantly without worrying about duplication errors, data lags or inaccuracies. Seamless, simple, and straightforward! 

Find out more here.