“There is much to being an entrepreneur than starting a business – this is a journey of self discovery, personal growth and courageous action. A business woman has a successful mix of design and practicality”
The good news is that women led-businesses are one of the fastest growing types of the small businesses. The number of women-owned businesses have been constantly on the rise across the world. And what’s note worthy is that most of these businesses are led by women not necessarily the rich and the affluent, but those from simple upbringing.
Be it innovation in the idea or the simplicity of the solution or the ease of getting things done, women have been making business work more successfully.
So, what is the recipe for the success of women-led businesses? A mix of genetics, drive to succeed, and balance. Women have a few tactical skills that set them apart from their male counterparts, making them successful entrepreneurs.
You can attribute this to the fact that they are inherently very caring, calculated, and balanced. Women have a drive to reach great heights, which makes them more competitive.
Women are great evaluators of risk
“A ship is safe in the harbour. But that’s not what ships are for”. Women are not very risk friendly but they get it better. Having testosterone in smaller quantities worked beautifully in favour of women probably. While most men think and act on a large scale, women are calculated and are better in evaluating opportunities against risk.
Their inherent risk averse nature helps them think and analyse risks much better than men. When they find that a risk is unnecessary, they nip it in the bud. This doesn’t mean they don’t take risks at all, they only evaluate it better and deeper.
Women are objective
Call it ego or confidence, men take longer to call a spade a spade and a problem, a problem. It is different with women. Women are more objective and more likely to ask for help when in trouble (small businesses are traditionally known to offer them more).
Women in business are more tuned to taking help from others, just to make sure they are thinking in the right direction and are not overlooking anything. Women believe in solving issues and moving on. Women are very objective in the definition of success, the parameters of growth and the vision of the business.
Women are great at multitasking
Women have a great ability to multi task, even when their plate is nearly full, they somehow have the capability to take in more.
Multitasking, not only in terms of how much but also in terms of what they can take. As they are better and faster learners, they tend to pick newer skills and adjust to newer roles much better. That is one of the main reasons you would find women settling and blending into new roles at ease.
Considering the responsibilities they shoulder both in business and personal lives, their ability to multi task adds great strength to them.
Women are better negotiators
“You cannot negotiate with people who say what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable”. Thankfully when it comes to negotiation, women are not so. They tend to be fairer in negotiation than men. They understand the fact that in negotiation, some win and some lose, so they rather focus energy on arriving at a win-win situation.
Relationships and mutual best interest are critical to women, though this sometimes is viewed as desperation or lack of confidence, whereas it may not be the case. So even in tough negotiations, businesses led by women are less likely to lose a deal or get an unfair share.
Women are caring and great listeners
Women are generally very caring in that they don’t let their own emotions get in the way. They are more understanding and can comfortably help people around them get over any emotional crisis. This helps establish greater connections.
Women are inherently good listeners. This also helps them connect. Women are not driven by ego. This helps them take into consideration others points of view and not limit themselves with what they think is right. They try to find merit in others and their opinions. They are also more social and engaging. And nothing works better in business than creating and engaging relations.
Women nurture small teams and conquer bigger goals
Women prefer making a small beginning, they set smaller businesses with smaller investment, smaller teams and even smaller offices compared to men. They have an attitude of checking on others and putting others first. They nurture their teams and help them with their personal growth as well.
Teams are more likely to stick with such businesses in good and bad times. Women believe in going slowly but growing stably. That is how they achieve long lasting success. A well known fashion designer once famously said “I did not always know what I wanted to do, but I knew the kind of woman I wanted to be”.
Sriram is the founder and chief mentor of Kuza Biashara, a capacity building organisation coaching youth and SME owners across Africa. He chairs Entrepreneurs’ Organisation for Africa.