The month of October is recognized as National Women’s Small Business month, so we would like to take a moment to shine a special spotlight on all of the amazing women in business and entrepreneurs alike.
In the United States alone, 39% of small businesses are owned by women, and those businesses currently have an estimated revenue of about $1.7 trillion. With the rise in the number and in the success of women-owned small businesses in America, we applaud and appreciate all the women taking on the task of being a “boss lady.”
We know firsthand all of the hard work you put into your passion to make it a reality. Often times, women in business come across many unique hurdles and barriers that can make it difficult to push forward in our careers. That’s why we have compiled a list of ten tips to be a successful woman in business.
Do not limit yourself or your possibilities. Try to make choices that are going to help you expand boundaries, limits and possibilities. Make smart, well-thought-out, educated decisions that will help push you forward in your career, not set you back.
Learn from others around you. It is important to take every opportunity to learn from bosses, CEOs, team leaders, VPs, colleagues, etc. Remain teachable and hungry for knowledge. This will help you with the decisions in tip one and enable you to learn from the mistakes and successes of others.
Make time for yourself. While it’s easy to become consumed with your business’ ideas, strategies and goals, don’t forget to set aside some “you” time. Find an easy way to unwind and clear your headspace; focusing solely on your career can lead you to burn out and forget why you were passionate in the first place.
Have a plan. When you’re starting out, make sure to set attainable, realistic goals for yourself, your business and your employees. We recommend SMART goals. This will help you track your business’ overall success, and more importantly see the improvements being made in accordance with your goals and game plan.
Keep track of both your progress and your impact. As we said before, tracking progress and success (or failure) is vital to becoming a successful business owner. Take note of what is working for your business and learn to accept, change, and let go of anything (or anyone) that is not working to help push you or your business toward future success.
Network as much as possible. Make contacts wherever you go and create a network full of like-minded, goal-oriented, passionate and hardworking individuals such as yourself. These contacts will come in handy when you least expect it or they could turn into your next client! Just make sure to be strategic about where you spend your time. If you’re looking for decision makers, c-suite execs, etc., we don’t recommend going to every luncheon or after-hours event. They won’t be there. Instead, look for executive-level events and attend those.
Lineup multiple options for funding. Loans, grants and investors are all solid options to fund the start of your new business. But remember not to put all your eggs in one basket. Always have a backup funding plan for your business so you have other resources just in case things don’t work out with one option.
If you don’t ask, the answer will always be no. Many times, when we don’t get things we want in life, it’s not because the answer is no. Rather, this occurs because we are simply just afraid to ask. Never be afraid, even if you do end up hearing the word “no.” Don’t let this discourage you from asking questions and looking for the next solution. Use each “no” as fuel to keep going.
Do research on your intended market. Research ensures that your marketing, communication and advertising strategies all align with your target audience. After all, if you’re going to put effort into it, you want it to reach the right people. Set yourself up for maximum success!
Last but not least: find a mentor, then be a mentor. There is a lot that can be both learned and taught through mentorship, and some of the most successful people have gotten where they are today with the guidance of a mentor. Don’t hoard knowledge once you have it; sharing with a mentee builds a relationship and opens you up to learning even more from that person.
We’re speaking (or in this case writing) from experience… PTE’s very own President Samantha Scott, APR, for example, began her venture as a businesswoman in 2006. She and her husband, Derek Scott, started with a vision to begin their own brand and company. Twelve years later, Pushing the Envelope has developed into a very successful company with an amazing predominately female team operating under the direction of a hardworking and dedicated woman in business.
If you’re a businesswoman who needs a helping hand, let us know.