5 Ways To Do More with Less As a Female Startup Founder
There are no shortage of statistics on how female founders have to make do with less than their male peers. With a decline in overall venture capital investment and less women entering into entrepreneurship, things can seem bleak, but success is still very possible.
The women founders who will be successful are the ones who push through despite challenges. Being a creative, solution-based thinker is the first step to get past barriers. These 5 tips will help female startup founders get closer to their goals and take advantage of what things are on their side to create the success they’ve envisioned.
1. Tell Your Story to The World
One of a woman’s natural strengths is her ability to tell stories and that’s nothing to be ashamed of. Being able to relate to people and create a conversation isn’t a joke. It’s a huge advantage. Ventureneer reported that women make as much or more than men raising money on crowdfunding platforms, no matter which platform they choose.
Forget about the challenges of venture capital. While it’s still a good funding strategy to investigate, it’s certainly not the end all, be all. Whether you use Kickstarter, AngelList, Crowdfunder, or Portfolia, you’ll have a great chance at getting the funding you really deserve.
Leverage your storytelling strength, and make that a focus of your funding efforts. This is not a part of your business to ignore. Not only will you be able to find more funding, but you’ll also be able to connect with customers and create a loyal following that will support your business for years to come.
2. Go Lean On Purpose
Women typically end up with much less in funding than men. Instead of letting that force you into a deprivation mindset, think lean on purpose. Find startup funding with the intention of keeping things lean and scalable. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, women only need half as much as men to start a business. Women-led startups often need just $10,000 to get started.
A lean startup is all about efficiency and the methodology does this by putting all the focus on the customers. Talking to your target market should be a priority. Get on the phone or create survey to get to know your future customers. It’s free!
Female founders should focus on creating a product that wows. A minimum viable product is the first step. It doesn’t even have to fully work for you to get feedback from your customers. This is where you can save money by testing before you invest in a fully working product. Test and get feedback again and again until you’ve got something that your investors and customers can’t say no to.
3. Don’t Take the Talent Plunge
With limited funding, hiring the right people is crucial. Avoid snap decisions and take the time to find someone who shares your vision and has the skills required. Hiring talent is going to be one of the biggest drainers of your funding. From the candidate search to onboarding, you’ll want to be very selective with who you let in on your startup.
Your team will be crucial in providing a different point of view. Avoid falling to the like attracts like bias and find people who have skills and experience that you don’t have.
When you do find the dream candidate, let them in. Many a startup has fallen because founders have been too stingy with equity. If you think this employee or co-founder will be vital to your success, treat them as such. Some say that employees should have more equity than investors because talent is there to stay and provide value every day.
4. Work Your Network
Mentors and supporters don’t cost a thing. This is an opportunity to get again, take advantage of your storytelling skills and find men and women who will support you and your ideas. These days, you can network from your couch. The new networking ideas of the digital age offer connection at the touch of a button.
Finding the right mix of digital and face to face networking for you and your schedule will do wonders for your business. You never know who you’ll meet and how they’ll help your startup grow.
You don’t need any resources to get out and get talking. Start with a female founder Facebook group or a local event. You’ll find friendship and support that will up level not only your business, but also your happiness.
5. Find Female Funding
When you absolutely don’t have enough to keep going, it’s time to relentlessly pursue female-led venture capital firms. Investors that want to support women are everywhere nowadays. Find one that’s right for you and your business or apply to many to really get your name out there.
Making sure investors are a good fit for your company is still important. You should be interviewing them at the same time they’re looking into you.
Get started in your female funding search with these options: BBG Ventures, Belle Captial USA, Female Founders Fund, Golden Seeds, Women’s Venture Capital Fund, Aligned Partners, Forerunner Ventures, Illuminate Ventures, Cowboy Ventures, Aspect Ventures, Valor Ventures, True Wealth Ventures, Springboard Enterprises, Pipeline Fellowship.
What tips do you have for female founders? What’s helped you grow your business or get started with an idea? Let us know in the comments below.