#SWAAYthenarrative

Women Entrepreneurs: From Home To Office

Career

Women are coming together in support of equality and empowerment at home and in the workplace. The recent rise of girl power has been harnessed by many women-led enterprises to encourage and show young girls that they can be anything they want to be!


Did you ever imagine that you could be part of this movement? Being a female entrepreneur can be lonely, cut-throat, stressful and demotivating at times, but once you learn to navigate the process and realise your worth in the marketplace – great things can happen. Before you decide to move offices, you should ensure that you have a budget to do so, as well as a plan that you can bring to life with the money that you have. A good value Downtown Miami office space can make a big difference between a workspace that is located in a place that doesn't get as much attention, and a Miami district that is full of life. If you feel like you want to attract new customers, the ideal way to do so is to move to a place that has people that will be interested in your company and what you can offer

There is no lack of talent or appetite preventing women from entering the business world as leaders or board members. Rather it is the patriarchy and old school mentality of the baby-boomers that place unnecessary obstacles in the way of aspiring young women. Being a woman in business or trying to start a new venture as a female leader is hard. Very hard.

The issues around equality and empowerment must be addressed and corrected in order for the world to evolve and grow in a positive direction. The fact that we have the need for these sorts of discussions can be disheartening, but it has to be done and changes have to be made. The trick is to keep having the conversation and keep pushing for change in order to revolutionise an outdated business model designed to benefit only men in the working world.

You can't, however, wait for change; you must be the change and forge your way into the world of business and entrepreneurship. If you have started a business at home and have become so successful that you need to expand, don't fret, you have a lot of support around you. You only need to know where to look.

The Stats

According to Mastercard, 25.8% of business owners in the UK are women. Statista shows that in women starting their own businesses, a 72% increase occurred between 2000 and 2016, with female entrepreneurs generating 18,000 jobs in 2015, adding to economic growth and GDP.

Looking at these stats, one can see how significant women are to society and the economy. With this in mind, consider hiring women from diverse backgrounds to take your business from start-up to FTSE listed. Hiring women only is a good human capital model to encourage the model of equality and empowerment within the business world.

The untapped potential of female entrepreneurship can be a significant boost for the UK economy and needs more funding and attention to bloom. 'RBS has calculated that boosting female entrepreneurship could deliver approximately £60B extra to the UK economy,' according to Prowess. This astronomical figure alone should be enough motivation for leaders and governments to invest time and money into female entrepreneurship.

Funding For Growth

Accessing funding for businesses is still a stumbling block for women. Start-ups are especially difficult to finance with a female-only board. Research has shown that a women-only board is four times less likely to qualify for funding than one made up of men. Besides appearing on an episode of Dragon's Den, what other financial opportunities exist for women wanting to make their mark in the world of entrepreneurship?

Fortunately, there are funding opportunities and business grants available for women to take their business to the next level. The difference between a business grant and a loan is that the grant is given with the specific purpose of investment into the business. A loan must be paid back with interest over a specific period of time. In essence, funding is given, and a loan is money that is lent.

If you are considering approaching a bank, a start-up or business loan can be an answer to your financial needs. Start-up loans have also been popular of late which offers the opportunity to expand and grow your business with interest rates tailored to your needs.

Office Space For Employees

Finding appropriate office space will depend on what your business needs and budget are. Will you be needing an office type set-up, warehousing or manufacturing space? The best way to find office space is to speak to experts in fit-out, design, refurbishment, and furniture solutions first and then find office space to house your business.

If you are in Scotland, finding an office to rent in Glasgow can be daunting but also exciting as Glasgow is one of the top 15 cities in the UK for start-up and small business growth in the UK. Amos Beech offers refurbishment and re-design of office spaces all over the city at an affordable rate to suit your business needs.

If you find a space which you think is suitable for your business needs in Glasgow, try incorporating sustainable work processes and materials, which will pay off in the long run. Not only will you be a savvy businesswoman but an eco-conscious one too!

Stick to your budget and keep the end goal in sight. Getting your business up and running is a priority so at times just a simple coat of paint and upcycled office furniture used in clever ways may be just what you need.

Creating an office space with your business vision and mission in mind should accommodate your employees too. Consult with an HR professional to ensure that your contracts and workspace are all above board and compliant.

When hiring women, consider their needs – working remotely when they are needed at home could be a great perk! Create an environment and culture of understanding and empowering women which speaks back to your business strategy. Hiring diverse women can be beneficial for innovation, collaboration and cultivating a female entrepreneur-rich culture.

Networking

Gaining momentum or traction on female-led businesses can be achieved by networking with people or industries that are passionate about female-led enterprises locally and globally. Attending or hosting networking events at least annually provides the opportunity to grow your business by having the right conversations with the right people.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of entrepreneurship and women in business is achieved by subscribing to or reading publications that promote and understand the plight of a businesswoman. Books and talks on women empowerment are available at the click of a button. Simply YouTube or Google these keywords to stay up to speed on what is happening within the world of girl power.

Certain programs or events also allow the opportunity to not only network but mentor young girls and ladies in achieving their potential.

Initiatives such as Business Women Scotland Awards, showcase women-led businesses and place them in the spotlight. Not only do they have categories that highlight and celebrate women entrepreneurs, but they support a charity initiative for women. Proceeds from their evening soiree go towards a charity which provides interviewing skills and clothing for women in need.

Social Media

Social media is a powerhouse for women in business, as the organic reach and potential to promote women-led enterprises is enormous. This is partly due to the fact that the majority of active social media users are in fact, female. Creating awareness of the gender funding gap for female entrepreneurs can be done on social media platforms and attract investors

Women are natural communicators and social media provides the platform for engagement with like-minded individuals and companies which can add value to your company. Marketing and networking on social media can be done without cost, which makes it perfect for a start-up.

Women can engage with thought leaders and business minds to foster relationships that can be instrumental to business growth and awareness. Having a solid presence on social media can also establish women entrepreneurs as thought leaders in the business world too. Leveraging the reach of social media is important in creating awareness around equality and inclusion.

Defy Stereotypes

Unfortunately, when starting a business, there will be trying circumstances as most female entrepreneurs continually have to defy stereotypes to be taken seriously. Sexist tendencies still dominate the business world and women have had to accept that proving themselves to male counterparts or leaders is par for the course.

Constant education and lobbying for equality are needed to bridge the gender pay gap and support equality. When starting out in the world of business as a female, accept that you will be a guiding light and a role model in the industry. Take this responsibility seriously and help set the standard for women in business. Celebrate every victory, no matter how small, and promote those around you who are disrupting the status quo for female kind.

As exhausting and trying as this can be, there is light at the end of the macho tunnel. Turning to mentors, role models or peers for support can be a proper boost when fighting for equality has got you demotivated. It helps to remember that you are not alone, that there are many more women (and men) fighting the same fight, raising the bar and achieving their business goals. Find these people, build a rapport with them, and use them as a sounding board from time to time.

3 Min Read
Health

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.