If you are a woman entrepreneur, you can expect to have a tough time proving your mettle in the male-dominated business landscape. But gender bias shouldn’t stop you from doing your thing because females are as capable as their male counterparts. Not to mention, your commitment takes you a step ahead as you have a point to prove. But you need to take the right approach and a visionary mindset to achieve what you deserve and accelerate your success in the industry.
From launching a startup to running a successful enterprise, you will have to face myriad roadblocks along the way. Winning the trust of customers and investors is harder for women, while you will also have to ramp up your understanding of finance, operations, compliance, and taxes to stay relevant. Apart from these, business technology is often the most daunting challenge for women entrepreneurs. But you can surely find your way around and build on it. Here is some advice that can help.
Focus on your pain points
When it comes to business IT, you need to work backward. The best thing to do is to focus on your pain points instead of technology. It will make life easier if you have minimal understanding of technology. You can use your instincts and experience to uncover your challenges and needs and find solutions that address them. The method will simplify technology selection as you have a clear view of the business problem and the solution to reach successful outcomes. It makes you more confident about investing in IT because you have a good start. Moreover, you are likely to make the right decisions even without being a tech specialist.
Step outside your comfort zone
Most women entrepreneurs do not bring STEM degrees to the table because it is a male-dominant educational field. But female leaders who have reached the top even without being techies advise that you must have the courage to step outside your comfort zone. The first step is crucial when you start the journey, so just dive in headfirst. Consider upgrading your education as a short course in business IT can give you a big leap. You need not learn to code, but a basic program covering subjects like infrastructure, applications, networking, and security can get you on track. You will benefit a lot from this small personal investment as it will help you make smarter decisions today and tomorrow.
Find a reliable IT partner
Building an IT infrastructure for your business requires hard work and hefty investment, even if you are only starting up. It makes sense to find a reliable IT partner to show you the way. Collaborating with Managed Services Providers is a better alternative to hiring technology specialists in-house. Managed IT services cost only a fraction of hiring an in-house team. They are available just when you need them and offer expertise without burdening your wallet. Moreover, they are least likely to be biased working for a woman-led business because they will probably have more as clients. There couldn’t be a better way to handle your tech investments.
Educate your team
Even as a managed IT provider gets you on the right track, you cannot make technology work without a team that knows how to use it. Whether it is your sales staff, HR team, or finance experts, you need to make sure they are educated and trained. While your IT partner will implement the technology solutions, these are the people who will use them on the ground. They will be able to do it only if you run training and development programs for them. Rather than seeing such programs as an expense, consider them a business investment for the long haul. Once your team is comfortable with technology, you can expect handsome returns on investment.
Follow your business network for new ideas
Women leaders are often great at networking, so you can use this skill to get a step ahead with business IT. Connect with industry leaders and fellow women entrepreneurs to get ideas for your setup. They will have solid advice because they have been there. Additionally, you can get a fair idea about the usability and cost of solutions, making it easier to find ones that match your needs and budget. Getting insights from people in business also helps you learn about trending technologies you need to embrace to stay relevant in the current landscape.
Know your goals and risks before acting
Another helpful piece of business advice for women entrepreneurs is to look before you leap. Impulsive decisions can land you in big trouble because a fancy-looking technology solution may serve zero value to your company. It is crucial to know your goals and risks and chart a course accordingly. For example, you may want a solution that extends your digital reach. But bear in mind the cyber risks before investing in one. You need to pick solutions that achieve your goals and cover your risks at the same time. Finding that balance takes good thinking, but it can give you the perfect solution eventually.
Learn to measure the impact
One area that women leaders miss out on is impact measurement, but doing so can set you apart. Don’t simply invest in digital solutions and leave them to work on their own. Assess them regularly and understand the impact they are making on the business. If a technology works, consider ways to upgrade and improve it for better outcomes. Conversely, eliminate ones that fail to yield value to your business. Steering clear of low-ROI technologies is a good idea as it saves your money and reduces complexities that come with redundant technologies.
The common belief is that women and tech don’t make a great match, but you can prove it wrong by following these pieces of advice. A little smart thinking takes you a long way when it comes to the selection and implementation of the relevant business technologies. Go ahead and make the right choices to take your business a notch higher.