Top 10 Tips for Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs
1 month ago
Business-owning women weigh in
Jill Schiefelbein is the founder of Impromptu Guru, a consulting firm that helps individuals and organizations gain confidence, but there's one thing she finds women already do too comfortably, and to a fault.
"Women tend to put a high value on building relationships, and get easily put off when others don't operate on the same page. But to enter into the more highly profitable markets that are male-dominated, we have to adjust our idea of what it means to form a relationship, from the model that focuses on personal commonalities first and builds on business later, to the more mutually beneficial partnership model that helps you and the other person become more profitable. In a male-dominated field, the audience is often looking for ways to get ahead first and for a relationship second."
BUILD A (RELIABLE) WEB OF WOMEN
Ayo Hart and her husband started Dolphin Organics, a line of natural skin and hair care products, last year. While in meetings, consultants more often addressed him with their words and body language, but when her husband returned to his long-time career, Hart developed her own "mantras" as a means to success.
"Surround yourself with loyal employees. Some women can be catty. They don't like being subordinate to another female; they'll undermine that superior at any given opportunity. The rumblings can threaten business relationships before they start and have immeasurable repercussions. But there are probably twice as many supportive women. They can be the most loyal, trustworthy friends and colleagues. Foster those relationships and seek out that mentor, networking group or complimentary partner who will help you look at your business with an objective eye. These sisters can be an invaluable source of information, funding and support."
ASK FOR HELP
"Women, particularly super-moms, are so used to handling everything that they don’t realize they can be more productive and successful if they don't do everything themselves," said Leanne Babcock, founder of consulting firm Babcock Coaching & Training.
However, noted Lorrie Ross, CEO of marketing agency Web Marketing Therapy, "Men are more likely to 'do what they do best and hire others to do the rest.'"
Women business owners need to be assertive and aware of their needs, said Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-founder of Voices.com. "Ask for help when you need it, seek direction from successful businesspeople you admire, and don't be afraid to speak up," she said.