Taking the best advice from some of the world’s most successful women entrepreneurs, here are 5 top entrepreneur tips to help you excel.
More women are becoming entrepreneurs and business owners than ever before. In fact, women-owned businesses now account for 40% of US businesses, a 30% increase since 2007. But how do you make a start on the entrepreneurship journey and overcome challenges so that you can grow your business successfully?
Whether you are considering starting your own business, need some help navigating the choppy, uncertain waters typical of entrepreneurship, or are simply looking for some fresh inspiration, these hard-won pieces of advice will be sure to come in handy. Here are 5 entrepreneur tips to achieving success from some of the world’s most successful women in business.
#1 Be Patient
Businesses can face great periods of challenge and struggle, especially during the first few months of starting out. Repeatedly, successful female entrepreneurs offer the same advice to other women entering the world of entrepreneurship: be patient.
Whilst your long-term plan and goals are important, so is setting yourself achievable and impactful actions that you can accomplish in the short-term. This could be ensuring that you send out monthly newsletters or marketing campaigns to your customers or subscribers, adapting your business model in response to changing circumstances, or even partnering up with local businesses.
As Manisha Raisinghani, founder of SaaS company LogiNext, says, “Being an entrepreneur means having an agile and accommodative mind while backing your own instincts and insights. It is important to sustain your ambition with perseverance, underlined with patience and prioritisation.”
#2 Follow Your Instincts
On starting her corporation, legendary American businesswoman Lillian Vernon once remarked, “It was a risk. I had a husband and I was pregnant with my oldest son. But I don’t look at risks the way other people do. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have to go in feeling like you’re going to be successful.”
Learning to trust your instincts is another important step along the entrepreneurship journey. Making mistakes is part of the process, but so is learning from them. Rather than allowing mistakes to slow you down, build on them.
“It’s really important to keep trusting your instincts, especially in those moments when you find yourself questioning your decisions or wondering if you have the ability or strength needed to continue,” says Kathleen Ward, a business writer at Brit Student and Nextcoursework. “All businesses need some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to try. If a decision doesn’t work out the way you expected, learn from it. You will find that your own skills grow with your business.”
#3 Continuously Learn and Adapt
“There is no better personal development tool than running your own business,” affirms Ali Brown, one of the world’s most recognised business coach for women entrepreneurs.
As your business grows and times change, it’s important to allow your business to adapt and grow in response to market shifts. Not allowing yourself to get too comfortable and continuing to learn is one of the most crucial entrepreneur tips from women who have been working for decades.
This can be especially important if you feel that your business needs a refresh. Keep trying to find new ways to keep your business fresh and relevant and be sure to reach out to your customers using new technologies, platforms, and events. Continue to make new connections, meet new entrepreneurs, and share experiences and skills via workshops and conferences.
#4 Know Your Audience
If you want your business to succeed, you need to have a clear understanding of who your customers are and the best ways to reach them. Think carefully about your target audience and explore different ways to provide not only great services or products, but also a memorable and high-quality experience.
“Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for feedback and to learn more about your market by talking directly to your customers,” says Margaret Rowe, a tech blogger at 1Day2write and Writemyx. “Try to find out more about your target audience’s wider interests. For example, send a poll to your customers, either via email or on social media to help you learn more.”
#5 Solve One Problem at a Time
Women entrepreneurs are especially skilled at multitasking. However, sometimes focusing on one specific problem at a time can be the best solution, allowing you to break problems into smaller, achievable steps that you can focus on and resolve. Prioritising effectively and maintaining focus are extremely important skills to learn as an entrepreneur.
On solving problems, Katrina Lake, founder and CEO of Stitch Fix, says, “Any time I’m in a rut or need new perspectives, I ask myself, ‘What is the problem that you’re trying to solve?’ A lot of times as we think about creating solutions, we think, ‘What do we have right now and how can we make it better?’ I think a better question is just wiping the slate clean and saying, ‘In an ideal world, if we could rewrite everything, what would we do?’ We also do an exercise here where we ask, ‘How would Southwest Airlines or Starbucks do this,’ thinking about other companies with totally different business models and how they might approach challenges.”
The piece of advice repeated most often by women entrepreneurs, however, is never quit. Don’t give up, stay determined and keep pursuing your dreams. Becoming an entrepreneur is hard work, especially if you are also trying to balance family commitments at the same time.
It’s important to be flexible and learn to adapt to changing situations. One of the most important entrepreneur tips is to keep learning from your own experiences, as well as those of others. Businesses take time to grow and it’s important to trust yourself. Equally important is learning to accept that mistakes will happen and that perfection cannot be expected or achieved at all stages of the journey. Ultimately, don’t be afraid to take risks and aim to achieve the things you are truly capable of.