Women entrepreneurs don’t always do it right the first time around. There are lots of success tips and pieces of advice available for the female entrepreneur, provided by women who have been there and who know. Here are seven tips for entrepreneurial success:
1. Be Passionate. Any entrepreneurial endeavor is going to take up a lot of your time and energy. If it isn’t something you are passionate about, a cause or a talent that sets you on fire with excitement, you will soon find yourself exhausted and unwilling to continue.
2. Don’t Just Plan Ahead, Plan It All. This means get your systems in order. Your life is about to be busy and you better be prepared. Get your organizational system, your time management system, your financial system, your childcare system if you need it, and any other resources in place before you start. Plan for the next half hour, the next hour, the next month, and the next year.
3. Get Sited. This means get on the internet. Even if you don’t have a selling function over the internet, you at least better have an up-to-date informational website. This is the number one way that today’s customer finds businesses. Be there when they look. If this is not in your area of expertise, you’ll want to hire someone who is!
4. Keep Track of Expenditures. Financial management is key. What goes in, what goes out, who gets what, how much for what, and what are you going to tell the bank when you want a loan. Have it categorized, tracked, and ready for someone to review when that funding opportunity arises. You’ll also need a system in place to manage your ongoing business and this can certainly be handled by a bookkeeper. Being organized will make your life a lot easier when taxes are due.
5. Get Support. Having mentors, advisors, friends and any other professional advice is critical to anyone’s success. Any woman entrepreneur will tell you, with a sigh, they’ve experienced hard work and hard knocks throughout their entrepreneurial career. In the next breath, they will tell you what they’ve learned to do right and that usually came from someone who paved the way for themselves. Women love to share success tips. You will need guidance as you begin this new endeavor. Find the people that you can rely on. And by the way, mentors, advisors, and friends don’t necessarily need to be only women. Gender is insignificant. Obtaining guidance is, however, critical.
6. Finance Thyself. You can look for the angel investor or venture financing, however, it’s not as easy as it once was – especially for the woman entrepreneur. Only 10% of angel investing goes to women-owned start-ups. Most women starting their own business look to themselves, their spouses, or their families for initial start-up financing. This type of financing is called “bootstrapping” your business and is often a source of pride for many entrepreneurs. Self-investing keeps the financial controls in your hands. You put in all the money, you get all the proceeds.
7. Trust Yourself & The Process. You are fighting the good fight. You have a cause or product you believe in and about which you are passionate. You’ve surrounded yourself with a supportive group of individuals that want to see you succeed. You’ve built a reliable business network, organizational structure, and business plan. Anticipate there will be setbacks. Don’t ever give up or give in. Have faith in yourself and your business.