Today’s modern woman wears many hats. She might run both her household and her company at the same time. It is no small feat to raise a family and be successful in business. When it comes to becoming a successful businesswoman, it takes focus, grit, and lots of strategy. So how do women entrepreneurs find their groove to build a business that lasts?
Pursuit of Knowledge
Successful female entrepreneurs know they need to have the ingenuity and knowledge to surpass their competitors. Even if a business idea seems like a good one, a woman must know how to market, pitch, and incrementally grow their idea into an income-producing product or service. She must be able to find the people, resources, and funding to build her brand and company.
Successful women surround themselves with others who can fill in their own knowledge gaps. They are not afraid of people who are stronger, smarter, and more successful than they, but instead want to learn from them. They know that developing a growth mindset and 21st century skills are not just “nice to have,” but essential to becoming a successful female entrepreneur.
A successful businesswoman needs to have a vision for where her business is headed and be able to see what steps must be taken to achieve it. Its equally important for her to be able to express her vision and share it with others who can help achieve stated goals. Without a plan to implement, it is easy to get derailed. This is especially true in the beginning, when budgets are tight, there is more work to do, and not enough helping hands. In order to keep the ship afloat and moving forward, it is essential to focus on key goals and create milestones with other like-minded individuals who share her business’ vision.
Without a doubt, there will be learning curves to tackle. When things go wrong, a woman who stays curious and asks for constructive feedback will grow significantly faster than a man who may think he can do it on his own. A woman who is supported will help everyone she knows. Some things to keep in mind when searching for a mentor are to:
- Search for individuals in person and online with skill sets most needed to build the business.
- Set fears aside and ask for coffee dates. Ask for help and have lots of questions that are concise and to the point.
- Don’t expect free work from a mentor. They are there to guide, not do work for the business.
- Seek out networking and educational opportunities that put the business in front of people who can provide feedback and support for growth.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained
Successful female entrepreneurs know when to cut back, or cut something entirely, if it isn’t in line with their immediate goals or milestones. They are willing to adventure into new territory and take calculated risks. They also hedge their bets, not taking on too much risk to ensure they can continue to grow their ideas into a business. One of the biggest mistakes new entrepreneurs make is investing too much too fast without realizing how long it really takes to succeed.
Financial challenges will come and will go. And yes, when an economic hardships hits, it may temporarily bring progress to a halt. Successful women are not discouraged by hardships that are out of their locus of control. Developing an idea into a business is a messy process, not a straight line to success. Successful female entrepreneurs use those ups and downs to gain knowledge that helps to weather future storms, and see their struggles as a badge of honor.
Learn to Communicate
Success in business requires knowing how to ask for what you want. A woman’s background or what she knows does not necessarily matter. It’s all about perception. Women especially must know exactly how to communicate with their audience. To speak and write appropriately, with focus and clarity, brings positive energy to the conversation and attracts more of the right kinds of people to the business. Key communication points for successful female entrepreneurs include:
- They don’t need PR agencies to understand and communicate their brand value.
- They hire interns or contract staff to help develop key talking and communication points or strategies.
- They practice speaking. They find opportunities to present in different situations to get comfortable in front of a microphone, a camera, a live audience, and with their writing.
- They find where potential clients go, seek them out, and are prepared to speak to them with authority. Nothing is more compelling than a confident woman who knows what she can deliver and why it matters.
Take Care of Yourself First
Self-care is important for any person in business looking to grow and strengthen their personal and professional resources. This is especially true for women, who manage to juggle more at once than men typically can. They need both trusted advisors as well as a trusted confidant. It can be very lonely and challenging to build a business, and women especially need someone they can truly talk to.
It can be hard for women entrepreneurs to be taken seriously. Even now, small business owners typically are men, and the culture has been cultivated by male energy. Women tend towards cooperation while men tend towards competition.
Success in today’s competitive landscape means having a strong mindset. Assertiveness skills to build are to:
- Communicate needs openly and work towards fair play for everyone.
- Show positive emotions and offer compliments.
- Initiate conversations and share feelings with others openly.
- Set aside time for self-care.
- Deal with minor irritations and annoyances before they boil over.
- Learn the art of saying ‘no’ for better balance and peace of mind.
Women in business can be very successful with the right plans in place. Small steps eventually become big progress towards larger goals. Managing the size of the workload for any given day is essential. Knowing that ups and downs will come, a woman who understands she is responsible for the outcomes, but maintains positive mindset and limits risk, can beat the odds and succeed. By learning these coping strategies now, a woman can build a healthy business model that will thrive for decades to come.