Apr 15, 2019
“Sometimes as people grow their businesses, instead
of achieving the freedom that they had hoped for, they actually end
up more tied to their work.” - Sonya
Sonya Stattmann & Laura Shook-Guzman
Women in the Business Arena
Misconceptions about the business arena are leading to disturbing trends.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs are intrigued by the idea of running their own business. They are excited by the opportunities that a business can provide for them, and the freedom and lifestyle benefits they can enjoy. The appeal of the entrepreneurial life has led to many people rushing out of their traditional nine-to-five jobs in search of better options.
“As some industries get flooded and the business environment changes, we need to create different plans and strategies, and we need to find our target market.” - Sonya Stattmann (20:48 -21:07)
While the path of an entrepreneur can undoubtedly be advantageous if done right, it is often misunderstood. The perception of freedom is a big driver for many that are thinking of starting their own businesses. But a lot of them haven’t defined what freedom really means to them. Financial success doesn't always equal freedom. Running a successful business can be complicated and time-consuming, and it might even result in less freedom. Some of these common misconceptions about being an entrepreneur are leading to some disturbing trends in the business arena.
Some of the recent troublesome trends emerging in the business arena.
Unrealistic Expectations - An excessive amount of hype around the idea of entrepreneurship, combined with the low barriers of entry, has led to unrealistic expectations of what it’s like to run a business. While it’s certainly great to have sources of inspiration and to dream big, the expectations also need to be based on reality. You don’t need a 20-page business plan in the traditional sense, but you do need a logical action plan and a solid foundation. You need to know who is your target market, if they really want or need what you’re offering, and how you plan on selling it to them.
Saturated Markets - Some markets that were wide open even a few years ago are now getting flooded with new providers. This is especially true for service businesses like coaches and consultants, and also for some product businesses. To be successful in these markets today, you need to think differently and differentiate yourself from everyone else. One way to do that is to get really specific about who you’re helping. It’s not enough to say you work with non-profits, or with moms that are entrepreneurs. You have to niche down, but you also need to make sure you’re in a market with more demand than supply.
Investing in the Wrong Things - Bootstrapping your business can be valuable, especially when you’re starting out. However, there are times when you do need to invest in yourself and your business to evolve to the next level. The problem is, many entrepreneurs are investing in the wrong things at the wrong time. The first thing you need to solidify is your foundation. Know precisely who you’re helping, what problem you’re solving for them, and how you’re selling to them. If you don’t have a solid foundation yet, it might be a good idea to invest in a business coach with experience in your industry to help you through the initial stages.
“The more specific you are with your target market, the more you can move towards collaborating instead of competing with other providers in your industry.” - Sonya Stattmann (24:47 - 24:53)
Many women in the business arena are experiencing exhaustion and burnout. Some are burning out because they aren’t experiencing any success, while others are running out of steam from running a business that has grown too big, without the proper infrastructure, rendering them incapable of making the impact they hoped for. Regardless of why we find ourselves in a season of burn out, it all comes back to the basics. Taking the time to slow down, being deliberate in contemplating business decisions, and investing in a coach or mentor will help build a solid business foundation. When you get clear on the foundation of your business, you will be able to avoid the destructive trends, and build a business that lasts.
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