The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of most Americans, particularly working women. A lot of women are working from home while trying to juggle childcare or care for elderly relatives. What women are going through during this pandemic is different from what men are going through. This disproportionate impact on women has created what we now know as a she-cession, a mass exodus of women from the workforce.
Right now there are approximately 12 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. that generate almost 2 trillion dollars per year! But did you know that 62% of women entrepreneurs state their business is their primary source of income? Those women don’t have side hustles — they’re doing business intentionally because their livelihood depends on it, which is especially tricky during these turbulent times. Here are some other interesting statistics to consider:
- Only 25% of women-owned businesses seek financing
- Women-owned businesses have added fewer jobs because they are scaling more slowly
- Women receive just 7% of venture funds for their business
Women make up the majority of the workforce (nearly 60%) but their jobs were the first eliminated as the pandemic hit. Women also left the workforce to fill gaps in childcare and help with their children’s remote learning. The pandemic is substantially worsening the inequities of working women.
All of this leads us to wonder how women can navigate these turbulent times. Here are three things women can do to help them focus during the pandemic and she-cession-proof their business.
Eliminate. Automate. Delegate.
To eliminate, look at your schedule and write down everything you’re doing Monday-Friday. What is your routine each day of the week? Do you have client meetings scheduled on different days and times? Do you go live on Facebook on a set day and time? What are the things you do each day throughout the week? There are things that may happen three days a week or things that only happen on Mondays. Do an audit of your week.
What things do you NOT have to do? What can you eliminate? Take a highlighter and go through your calendar and mark everything you can eliminate that’s (1) not going to hurt the revenue generation of your business and (2) not going to seriously impact your other responsibilities. Most of us spend 80% of our time doing things that don’t matter.
Next is to automate. Think about automation like this: What am I doing that could be set up so I don’t have to think about it? Automation could be paying your bills through monthly auto-pay. Or using an automation system to generate your marketing emails or social media campaigns. You could even have a list of standard operating procedures that detail how to complete processes within your business. As your company grows, you can then delegate tasks to others more quickly.
Speaking of delegating, that’s the third thing women can do to she-cession-proof their business. Delegating is important if you’re running a business (especially on your own). There are a multitude of ways you can redirect tasks to others. Get an intern. If they’re in college you may not have to pay them if they can get college credit instead. Or you could outsource tasks to a virtual assistant. Good leaders know how to delegate so think about how you can use the power of other people’s help.
Now that you know three ways to help you focus your time here’s an added bonus that’s a real game-changer: block scheduling. Think about the important things you have to do every day. Do you have to get your kids to school in the morning? Put it on your calendar at a specific time. What about money-making activities? Think about what you need to do to move your business forward. If you run a very busy Instagram account, what block of time do you need to put on your calendar to create and schedule your content? Allocate chunks of time to related tasks. Maybe schedule all of your meetings for Mondays and Tuesdays. Block scheduling takes some trial and error but it can help you avoid procrastinating, focus and pay attention more, and increase productivity.
Do you have any tips for guiding a business through a she-cession? Let us know what works best for you in the comments below.