Women need to be educated that this is not only a possible venture but also one that is likely the more appropriate one, specifically for Muslim women who want to balance family life with a career and remain within Islamic limitations regarding gender segregation, hijab, etc.
There are many benefits to starting one's own business:
- SMEs are the greatest source of new jobs.
- The ripe economic situation of UAE – and the Middle East - greatly makes today the best time to start your own business.
- There are lots of resources that make starting a business easier and less costly.
- Having your own business gives you the freedom and ease of maintaining a family alongside your career. You don’t have to sacrifice one for the other.
- Having a business provides financial freedom.
Furthermore, with mobile technology and the internet, you can run your business from anywhere.
- Home-based businesses are becoming more and more popular every day.
- It’s easier and more feasible for women to run a home-based / online business.
- There are countless websites that allow you to market and sell your products, such as souq.com and Etsy, so you don’t need a brick and mortar shop or even an online store.
- You can easily ship products to customers using cash on deposit and “pickup and drop services” services such as is available from Aramex, so you don’t need to worry about setting up online payment gateways.
- You can use other payment methods such as Al Ansari Exchange’s Cash Collection system.
And many more
Thus, it’s easier and more feasible for women today to have their own businesses and doesn’t require a large investment. So how should you go about doing it?
Here are a few tips
- Your business should be set up around something you are good at / have experience with.
- Find a niche that your product / service fills or a problem that your business helps solve.
- Do your research to know the demand and marketability, including expected sales and costs.
- Spend wisely and only on the necessary things. Avoid unnecessary spending at the start, such as hiring workers you don’t need.
- Have a professional appearance, whether it is your flyers or videos or website, or product images. Lack of professionalism will keep sales down.
- Include advertising in your budget.
- You don’t need a physical office or even a website – you can even use Facebook to market your product. It’s the information age and - especially in the more advanced nations - businesses with only an online presence or homebased businesses are accepted. There are many stories about great businesses started out from a garage (think Google). However, among less advanced people – who haven’t yet caught up to the advancement of the business world – this is considered unprofessional, and looked down at.
- If your clientele belong to such cultures, then getting a physical business address is a good idea. Luckily you can do this more easily with virtual offices, business lounges, and other resources available to business people.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of support from people who encourage you to follow your dreams. This can help you get through the difficult times that come along with running a new startup. Connect and interact with them frequently.
So, if you’re a woman – or even a man – with a great business idea and the entrepreneurial spirit, don’t hesitate to launch your own business.
By Kokab Rahman
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