By Jessica Larson, SoloprenuerJournal.com
Where did the pandemic leave you as a tech entrepreneur? The virus changed the tech economy — in some ways for the better. As society became more dependent on capabilities like social networking and online purchases, it opened up more opportunities and connections for tech entrepreneurs.
But women face continued challenges in the field, fueled by societal prejudices and gender bias that must be overcome. As a female entrepreneur, you’ll need strategies to deal with those and other challenges, and you’ll likely need to remain nimble as more changes come fast and furious heading into the post-pandemic era.
You may not know exactly what lies ahead, but there are a few ways you can adapt your approach to be sure you’re maximizing your business’s potential.
Beware Of Cyberthreats
With phishing and ransomware threats increasing, cybersecurity is becoming one of the biggest opportunities for growth in the tech world.
Scammers use phishing emails to fool recipients into thinking they’re legitimate companies, then get them to click on links or answer questions with personal information (like bank account or Social Security numbers). This allows them to hack into your systems and steal your identity or hijack your information and hold it for ransom — hence the term “ransomware.”
Whether or not you focus directly on cybersecurity, if you’re in the tech field, you’ll need to know about the dangers of cyberthreats. Familiarity with these threats will make you more versatile, your information more secure, and your services more marketable.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has put out a ransomware guide, including a list of best practices. That’s a good place to start.
Follow The Demand
The MSP industry is poised for major growth: estimated at 17% in the next three years. The field is becoming increasingly competitive, but a recent survey found that 56% of respondents viewed managed services as the biggest opportunity for sales and revenue in 2021.
In addition to MSPs and cybersecurity, numerous specialized tech fields provide significant opportunities for growth in the near future. Artificial intelligence, cloud computing, software development, robotics, project management, and IT service management are all poised to take off to even greater heights in the next few years. Other opportunities can be found in SEO, programming language, data analytics, and app development.
When you consider expanding your services or targeting a new market, keep these opportunities in mind.
Prepare To Invest
As an entrepreneur, you need to be prepared to invest in your company — and your future. That means maintaining a good financial standing so you can borrow money to grow your business (or weather a crisis if one hits).
If an opportunity presents itself, you’ll want to be able to secure approval for the loan that can help you take advantage of it. Depending on how your business is structured, your ability to borrow may be impacted by your personal credit history. If that is the case, you should monitor and build your credit before you need to use it, then spend strategically on what will give you the biggest leg up.
Safeguard Against Crisis
Cybersecurity has already been mentioned, but other risks can create setbacks for your business, too. Something as simple as a power outage can cause you to blow a deadline or even wipe out crucial data.
To start, you need to back up your files both in the cloud and on an external drive as a matter of routine. Having a surge protector positioned between your electrical source and computer shouldn’t be overlooked, as well. While these steps may seem like simple common sense, they are commonly overlooked.
Depending on how and where you work, you may want to consider purchasing a backup power generator to allow you to stay connected and continue to serve your clients. This is particularly important if your home or office is in a location that is prone to power outages due to rough weather. If you already have a generator, make sure it is enclosed to protect it. As a bonus, a well-built generator enclosure can reduce noise, prevent theft, and deter wildlife.
Women in tech face challenges over and above those faced by men in similar positions. They leave the field at a rate that’s 45% higher than that of men, and one-third of them say they’ve considered switching careers as a reaction to men in the industry.
Old (and false) stereotypes about women in math and science persist, but you can fight them by advocating for yourself and other women in the field — while letting your work do the talking for your competence.
It’s not women’s performance that gave birth to the stereotypes, but instead, the established stereotypes that can negatively affect performance. You shouldn’t have to go further to prove yourself because of your gender. You’ve got what it takes. Remind yourself what you’ve achieved and what you’re capable of. Take pride in your skills, keep these tips in mind, and go forward with confidence.
About The Author
Jessica Larson is a married Midwestern mom and a solopreneur. She creates online courses for students, and she has started and run several other businesses over the years. Her goals are to support her family while still actually spending time with them, to act as an entrepreneurial role model for her two daughters, and to share what she has learned through The Solopreneur Journal.