If you are a small business owner, you are familiar with the difficulties that are related to the day-to-day operations. It is truly a labor of love that provides many challenges, specifically for women over 40. The reasons for this are complex and varied. However, numerous studies have proven that females in this age group are at a disadvantage compared to their male counterparts. Of course, this adds an additional level of complexity for women-owned companies. Nonetheless, they are are not insurmountable. Continue reading this post to discover the challenges related to a small business for women over 40.
No matter how successful, women over 40 are challenged with remaining confident. In order to be successful in business, it is essential to boost your self confidence at work. Studies have shown that women of any age are less likely than their male counterparts to advocate for themselves. Even the most confident small business women owners find it difficult to self-promote. This lack of confidence is particularly evident when it comes to business-related accolades or decisions relating to their small business. The confidence gap is an issue related to a small business for women over 40. It will only be resolved when women “own” their qualifications and talents.
One of the hardest feelings to resist is that of complacency. It is a challenge that women over 40 need to address related to their small business. The older we get, the easier it is to close the doors to new ideas. Afterall, your business is flourishing so why do you have to change what has been working all of these years? It makes sense when you think about it. Successful small business women over 40 are just as likely as men to stick to routines and decline new approaches. The reality is that this ever-changing world requires innovation and your business can suffer without it. Taking a step back from your day-to-day rituals and looking at the various aspects of your business may be all you need. Daily exercises like these will help you resist complacency.
Another huge challenge related to small business for women over 40 is securing business financing solutions. This applies to startups and existing businesses. Studies have proven that women who apply for small business loans receive significantly less funding than men. As such, they tap into their personal financial resources to fund the business. Women business owners should avoid this practice at all costs because it can negatively impact both business and personal credit scores. If you are a woman over 40 seeking funding for your small business, you may need to get creative to secure financing.
Keeping Up With Technology
Technical skills are a necessity in many aspect of life today, but keeping up with technology can prove to be an additional difficulty for small business owners. With the technology field dominated by males, many women do not have the exposure they need to stay on top of recent advances. When you factor in age, the technology struggle becomes magnified for women over 40. Unless you own a business that provides technology services, keeping up with technology should not be your priority. Instead, hire someone to help with technology-related tasks for your business. This way, you can focus your energy on other aspects of your small business and not keeping up with technology.
Answering Gender-Biased Questions
If you are small business owner and a woman over 40, you will find yourself answering gender-biased questions at some point during your career. It seems implausible that these situations still happen, but they do. The challenge is being prepared with an answer should someone ask something like, “How are you going to run your small business and raise your children?” Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that your male counterparts will be expected to answer a similar question. This challenge related to a small business for women over 40 is not insurmountable. However, you should be ready to answer gender-biased questions should they arise.
The challenges related to a small business for women over 40 span a variety of areas. Sometimes they require personal growth like remaining confident and resisting complacency. Other times these difficulties demand that business owners think “outside the box.” For example, in the case of funding, you may need to find alternative solutions if you are not able to secure financing. Additionally, women over 40 should assess their technology competencies and decide if they are able to keep up with focused business technology. If not, the best option is to hire someone for the technology challenges. Moreover, it may seem circa-1900, but women business owners are still faced with answering gender-biased questions today. It is important to consider these challenges related to a small business if you are a woman over 40.