Sage recently carried out some research on entrepreneurship in the UK, with some interesting results. Perhaps unsurprisingly almost 1 in 4 people want to start their own business. But women are less likely to consider starting their own business in the next 2 years than men.
Digging a little deeper leads you to the reasons why. One of the biggest challenges for women is that they simply don’t know where to start.
I think this comes from a couple of underlying causes.
Firstly, and I’m sorry to sound sexist about it, on average women are just not as comfortable with the financial side of things as men. Setting up a business requires you to deal with the taxman, with finances, the bank, etc. etc. A good friend of mine has had a number of really good business ideas, but has always shied away from setting up a business because she is scared of the different areas she would have to get to grips with.
Secondly, women are perhaps more likely to want to have everything perfect before they start. Now I’m as much of a perfectionist as the next woman – that’s partly why I really enjoy being an accountant, its one of the few places in real life where its possible to get things completely correct – but I have been forced to rein in my perfectionist tendencies in other areas as there simply aren’t enough hours in the
day. Sometimes you just have to accept that things are good enough.
Does this sound like you? Are you full of ideas but don’t know where to start to get a business off the ground?
The best piece of advice I can give you is to just go for it. Get yourself out there:
- Read some of the fantastic information available on the internet for people looking to start their own business (including my own blog of course, resources like GOV.UK, and “Discover your business potential” from Sage)
- Take advantage of some of the fabulous support networks for women in business
- Get some advice and support in the areas which make you the most uncomfortable
- Consider getting a business coach or mentor who will be best placed to help you in the early stages. The expense is likely to be more than met by the faster development of your business
- Don’t hold back until everything is perfect (lets face it, that is never going to happen)
If you are setting up a new business and want to have all the answers at your fingertips then check out My Virtual Financial Controller for just £19.95 a month.