What motivates a woman to start a business?
There are many different reasons or motivational factors that stimulate the interest in starting a business. As a business advisor I have seen many people with ideas for start up or who are in various stages of development. The challenges are usually the same, which tend to be finding sources of start up finance; identifying and securing customers; and for some juggling family commitments with the pressures of running a business.
Many women are motivated to go into business because of the difficulties with juggling family and caring commitments with the demands of work outside the home.
Even though employers are encouraged to implement flexible working for staff, there is always a little suspicion attached to those who work shorter hours or who work from home. Saying that, these flexible working options are often not available to many women at work, and so is not a real choice for many. Childcare costs are expensive even if a little more accessible than in the past and for many, the costs of going to work and finding affordable childcare prohibitive.
The glass or concrete ceiling for some women in many industries has created a level of frustration due to a lack of progression and promotional opportunities which has propelled women to start their own business. Hence, women decide to use their skills, talents, education and experience to create a range of businesses in order to generate income to support their lifestyle and/or family commitments. Many have found the experience worthwhile, with their confidence growing to overcome difficulties and disappointments.
When starting-up, you find people who often start with turning their hobby into a business. It may a particular activity that they enjoy and are good at, and therefore feel that it is a good idea to develop that talent into a business. My word of caution here is for you is to ensure you have a clearly defined market for your product or service before you decide to ‘sell’ in order to replace a salary. Just because a few friends and relatives buy a service that you provide does not mean that there is a substantial market for the service. What it suggests is that there might be and further research would need to be undertaken to find out the size and complexity of the market.
Also, please note that you will need a different set of skills from being a craft person to running a business. A good designer does not necessarily equal a good business. However, it does signal the potential for a good business!