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Which questions founders should answer before starting a business

According to the current Female Founders Monitor (external PDF link), the number of female business founders in Germany continues to increase: While in 2014 only just under 10% of all founders were women, the proportion of female founders rose to 15.1% in 2018 and even increased in 2019 15.7%. Nevertheless, their share of all business start-ups is relatively small. No wonder, because female founders are particularly challenging compared to their male counterparts exposed.

You have to look this in the eye. Because the small number of female founders reflects what we already know from the management level of large companies: women are underrepresented and, despite the measures introduced, little changes. The start-up scene urgently needs to catch up here. In order to make starting a business easier for women and to prepare female founders well for self-employment, we have compiled the following questions which should be clarified in advance.

The role as a founder and entrepreneur

Female entrepreneurs who do not yet know whether starting a business is the right thing for them should ask themselves which one professional and private goals to be achieved in the future. Does starting a business fit into the concept of life or is the employment relationship the better alternative? An important help in the decision can be the exchange with successful female entrepreneurs. The advantages and disadvantages of founding a company can be discussed with them in a personal meeting.

Determined female founders on the other hand, you should think about how to start the step “do it yourself”. Questions that future self-employed people have to answer here are: Which measures and strategies do I have to put in place so that my start-up will be successful? What is my plan B if things get dicey? And how do I win my customers? Female founders receive general answers and initial ideas from founders as well as from corresponding books and founder blogs.

reading tip: Make yourself self-employed: From the development of the business idea to customer acquisition after the start-up

The first steps on the way to starting a business

Once the decision to start a business has been made, the topic of preparation begins. Before this, however, founders should ask themselves: Do I have the necessitate qualificationsthat it takes to start a business? Where are there still knowledge gaps? Who can help me to fill this up? Not everyone is born with an “entrepreneurial gene” and knows all the hurdles and stumbling blocks when starting a business. It is therefore understandable to seek external help before jumping in at the deep end. The constant exchange with successful founders and the development of a business network are just as important as working with a start-up consultancy and a tax consultant (service tip: find a tax consultant). Through the exchange, female founders can quickly find out whether the topic of self-employment meets with their approval or whether the first founder and entrepreneur problems are rather frightening.

Scheduling as an important management task

Founders who have to reconcile the triple burden of household, family and self-employment should manage their time well. Hence a consistent time management essential for female entrepreneurs. The questions that female founders should first answer for themselves are: Can I create a daily or weekly plan that combines my needs and those of my family? Do I have a substitute in case I should be absent? What happens to my business start-up if I need a break? With an appropriate safety net of people who z. B. stepping in in case of illness or vacation, it is easier to set up. In addition, major disadvantages for starting your own business can be avoided in an emergency. Therefore, the above questions should be clarified in advance so that the continuation of the business start-up is possible even if you are unable to act.

Coordination of business start-up, family responsibilities and childcare

Planning a business start-up is not an easy task in addition to following family responsibilities — especially when small children also have to be looked after. Working from home allows female founders to better coordinate these tasks. Before starting the business and possibly taking the step to the trade office (business registration), it must be clarified whether your own apartment is suitable as a job and and who can support you with childcare. Founders should ask themselves: is there anyone in the family? Or should I rather look for friends or a “nanny” to support me? Without the consent of the family, the step into self-employment is particularly difficult for female founders. It is therefore important to ensure that the family is behind the foundation and helps to advance it. With an open partner at your side, it is certainly easier to combine independence and family. However, the conservative role model of the male provider usually still dominates. Therefore, women often start a part-time business (sideline). On the one hand, they have the flexibility they need to balance family and career, but on the other hand, the salary is usually very low.

It is becoming clear that female entrepreneurs find it more difficult to start a business than their male colleagues. It is therefore all the more important to secure yourself in the various areas (e.g. financing) and to clarify individual questions in advance. Female founders should not be afraid to professional help to use e.g. B. in the form of business start-up advice. A business plan should also be drawn up. Female founders do not have to worry about the consulting costs either, because such consulting can be funded with up to 70% of the costs depending on the federal state (service tips: Subsidy check and Find a consultant/coach).