Getting started

The challenges of female founders: dream big, start small

- December 8, 2022 3 MIN READ
young girl with toy plane

Women in Australia are a driving force in the economy. 34 per cent of all businesses started in Australia are started by women. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen a 46 per cent increase in women’s businesses, writes Sonia Gibson, founder of Accounting Heart.

But there are still huge challenges for women entering the business scene, and research suggests one of the biggest challenges can be managing growth in a business while it’s underfunded.

And that might mean the real opportunity is to start small and effectively manage business growth from day one.

This is how a small-scale startup can be a long-term advantage

happy confident business woman in office

Playing to your strengths

The ideal, of course, is a perfectly level playing field, but while we wait for society, government and business to adjust and coalesce around that ideal – it’s important for women not to get left behind.

And quite often, this simply means playing to the natural strengths that women have in business.

Tread lightly

Treading lightly into an area of business doesn’t mean doing things half-heartedly. It means surveying the landscape and getting the measure of the industry and the people around you.

The natural curiosity and intelligence that a female entrepreneur brings to this effort can often leave her much better positioned than a male counterpart, because she leaves no stone unturned in her quest for information.

This leads to, of course, further questions.

Doing your research

Then it’s time to do your research on the questions that have raised themselves during your initial look at the area of business you’re considering.

This is an area in which women can excel. More than 55 per cent of those in higher education in Australia are female, many are pursuing masters and PhD level programs.

That means there are a huge chunk of Australia’s female entrepreneurs who know how to research at any level of complexity.

Female business owner standing at door of her restaurant

Start how you want to finish

Then, when it comes to starting your business, it’s time to set up the business on day one, so that it’s designed to help you get to the finish line.

You want to consider growth and scalability on the first day, and use your research to support the structures, processes, hiring, etc., that make it easy to achieve.

Sure, having loads of money to throw at a problem can make it go away, but it can also exacerbate it. There are plenty of horror stories from even massive corporations, where scaling consumes a ton of cash without bringing it back in.

Your research, on the other hand, should reveal the path of least resistance. Your existing model is a small version of the future. It might take a little longer to scale up without huge amounts of cash, but it also gives you time to test realities against your expectations and adjust accordingly.

You don’t need to jump straight in to get the results you want. You can step back and apply that keen mind you bring to your business to see where the areas of stress are on the operation and how to relieve them as you grow.

In some ways, growing a business is like raising a family. You need to balance the nurturing aspect of yourself with the results-oriented side of things. This will ensure your people enjoy the journey to success and aren’t looking to bail as your business balloons too.

Final thoughts on starting small

Starting small doesn’t mean ending small. In fact, it ought to mean the opposite. By keeping your initial forays well informed and focusing on creating the end result from the beginning – you can overcome the disadvantages of funding and create a world-beating woman-led business.

Join the soloist movement. Whether you are new to Flying Solo or looking to grow your business, our membership options will help you attract more leads, grow your network and sharpen your business skills.  Sign up to our newsletter to get the latest news and advice straight to your inbox.

Now read this:

Women in Business | Sonia Gibson: How to be the change you want to see

Here’s why you need to upgrade your Flying Solo membership pronto!

  • Share your business journey in an exclusive member profile
  • Get free lifetime access to our Going It Alone digital course
  • Participate in members-only events and experiences
  • Boost your business’ visibility with a Directory listing

$149.95 + GST
Billed annually
  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"