A little bit of inspiration can manifest into great things.
According to the “2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” the number of women-owned businesses grew by 74% between 1997 and 2015 – a rate that’s 1.5 times the national average. Women now own 30% of all businesses in the U.S., and have added an estimated 340,000 jobs to the economy since 2007. While many women aspire to become entrepreneurs and own their own companies, taboo views of females in business cause them to push these dreams to the side and focus on more “easily attainable realities.” However, interviews with female entrepreneurs along with organizations meant to inspire and empower women prove that becoming a leading female in business is not as far-fetched of a dream as many people think. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning your own successful business, or if you already own one that isn’t living up to your expectations, here are 10 Tips on Being a Successful Female Entrepreneur.
1. Continuously Network and Always Follow Up Promptly
Networking is the single most powerful marketing tactic to create and sustain success for yourself and your business. Any successful entrepreneur knows the importance of someone hearing your name and immediately knowing about your business and the company you grew, and for this to happen you need to network. Networking is about making connections and building relationships with others in order to ensure your business continues to thrive. There are a number of different ways you can network, from attending business events to always having a stack of your business cards on hand to give out to people you meet. Forming these connections and relationships with others and making sure you follow up with them from time to time can lead to contracts, opportunities, sales, investors, and clients for your business.
2. Align Yourself with Other Successful Entrepreneurs Who Share Similar Values to Yours
An important way to ensure your business never stops thriving is to associate yourself with other entrepreneurs who share similar values to yours and have found success. It’s common to find yourself stuck in a rut or to experience a mental block every once in a while, but if you’re constantly surrounded by people who are in the same position as you are it presents you with the opportunity to feed off of each other for new ideas. In addition, working with others helps open your mind to seeing things from different perspectives, which is valuable when it comes to owning a successful business.
3. Establish Excellent Systems for Overall Organization, Filtering Contacts, and Saving Detailed Notes
Successful entrepreneurs not only set goals, but they also build systems in order to support these goals. If your business and your work ethic have no organization to them, you’ll most likely find yourself crumbling before you even make it to the top. Instead of deciding what you want to accomplish and immediately getting to work on it, take the time to set aside a scheduled system of how you’re going to get that task done, and a timeframe for doing so. Take detailed notes of your progress so you know which tactics work, and which don’t, and always know who you can call for help along the way.
4. Join a Female Organization and/or Attend Seminars for Women
Joining organizations and attending seminars that are geared towards women are vital to your success, as they will help you understand the process of becoming an entrepreneur, as a female. They’ll help you feel empowered and they’ll give you the determination you need in order to become successful, as well as introduce you to other women who are in the same position as you are. Organizations such as Ellevate, NAFE, NOW, Women's Leadership Live, and Women's Entrepreneurship Day can match you with events in your area, provide you with networking opportunities, and give you tips on how to advance in the workplace and as a woman in general.
5. Support, Empower, and Promote Other Women
By empowering others around you instead of always feeling the need to receive credit, you’ll find it easier to attract the best of the best towards you - whether that includes the best employees, the best mentors, or even the best clients. That's one of the reasons I went on a women's business retreat and joined Good Life Gals, a group of women entrepreneurs who support each another and our businesses. I also speak at various women's events, including an upcoming Women's Wellness Expo on November 29, and I contribute articles to valuable blogs like Good Life Blog on Good AC Guy, curated by a fellow women entrepreneur. And, when it comes to empowering other women, it doesn’t always have to be business related. Your friends and relatives can use encouragement too, and more often than not you’ll find that what goes around, comes around. By listening, being empathetic, and encouraging and empowering other women around you, you’ll find that not only will your business thrive, but you’ll thrive as a person as well.
6. Know Where to Focus Your Energy and Time
When it comes to building a successful business, it’s vital to know how to separate your work life from your personal life. Letting distractions get in your way will eat up your time and prevent you from getting things done correctly and efficiently. It’s important to prioritize your tasks and focus on what’s directly in front of you, rather than trying to get several things done at once. Although it seems like working on more than one thing at the same time will help you get things done at a faster pace, in reality all it does is slow you down and create more room for error.
7. Always Stay Committed
Staying committed allows you, as a female entrepreneur, to stay focused and determined to reach your end goal. Giving something your all and being completely committed to and invested in it helps you to continuously grow and prosper as an entrepreneur. In addition, if you’re 100% committed to something, you’ll find that you don’t feel the need to seek approval or validation from others, as your commitment to success is the only validation you’ll need.
8. Never Stop Learning
Learning is something that no female entrepreneur should ever cease to do, and it’s important to realize that you don’t have to start out as an expert to become one. Weak links in your business will bring you down, so it’s vital that you have the knowledge to realize what needs to be fixed, as well as the best way to fix it. Continuing to master an already obtained skill, along with continuing to learn new ones, opens up the possibility for improvement, new ideas and thoughts, and, most of all, opportunity. The best part is that there’s a vast number of ways to learn, such as reading books, attending seminars, or even finding a mentor. You can never know too much, and you’ll never run out of resources to continue expanding your knowledge.
9. Hold Yourself Accountable and Take Responsibility for Yourself
Every aspect of personal accountability and the ability to take responsibility for your decisions and your actions will empower you to become a more successful entrepreneur. The best way to take responsibility for yourself is to ensure that you leave yourself with the lowest possible chance of making a mistake. Set goals for yourself that you constantly monitor. Make sure you’re always managing your expectations. Know when you need to sit down and re-evaluate a decision. Additionally, it’s important to have mentors, advisors, and peer entrepreneurs who you are accountable to, as they can help to keep you grounded and ensure you’re on the right track.
10. Ask for Help When You Need It
Asking for help doesn’t mean that you’re weak and don’t have the knowledge to do something correctly. In fact, asking for help can showcase your strengths, rather than your weaknesses. By asking for help, you’re realizing the importance of getting things done correctly and efficiently the first time around, rather than wasting your time doing something just to find out in the end it’s wrong. The best entrepreneurs surround themselves with those smarter than themselves, and they understand the importance of asking for help when it’s needed.