In a world where women only hold 25% of the top C-suite level positions, it is so important for women small business owners to continue supporting each other and lifting each other up. Women often face different challenges than men do when it comes to business ownership. Getting advice from other women who have been in your shoes can help you navigate the business landscape more comfortably and avoid pitfalls that others may have already experienced. Below are five tips for succeeding as a woman small business owner.
Find a Mentor and a Group of Like-Minded Women
When you first start out in business, you will likely have a million questions. How do you handle taxes? What paperwork do you need to file? How do you fit in time for personal growth? What kind of marketing do you need?
This is where a mentor comes in. When you choose your mentor, you want to work with someone who has been where you are starting out and is already where you want to go. She will be able to walk you through the steps, help answer your questions, and push you to grow.
Additionally, you should surround yourself with like-minded women who are also succeeding in the business world. Having people to bounce ideas off of and grow with can make you stronger. If you do not know where to start, look into your local chamber of commerce or even Facebook groups dedicated to businesswomen in your area.
Do Not be Afraid of the Word “No”
This is two-fold. You are going to hear the word “no” a lot, especially at the beginning. On the other side of that coin, you need to get used to also saying no. Not every project or client is going to be a good match for you and sometimes it is not worth the hassle just to bring in another check.
Additionally, do not stretch yourself too thin or get overworked You can push back if clients start to creep past their scope of work, and you should. Your work and time are valuable.
Take Time for Yourself
Burnout is an all too common problem amongst women in leadership. As we try to prove ourselves, we can work ourselves into the ground. To be at your very best, it is important to take time to do the things you enjoy and to focus on personal growth.
You are not a machine and you will be more successful if you set aside time to exercise, practice mindfulness, and enjoy your hobbies. Schedule time in your calendar for these things just as you would client meetings and honor those time slots. Applied Development’s CEO, Kimberly Citizen, recently talked to the Baltimore Business Journal about this as well, mentioning that she takes the mornings for herself to meditate and exercise.
Do Not Underestimate Your Work or Products
Undervaluing products or services so as not to make waves is something that women are more prone to than men in the business world. Know your worth and price accordingly. Some people may think you are too expensive while others will pay what you are asking without batting an eye.
Properly pricing yourself is how you end up with the right clients for you and your work.
Along those lines, you should also celebrate your accomplishments. Put out press releases when you win awards and add the affiliations that you are proud of upfront and center on your website. You earned those things and you deserve to be proud of them.
Leverage Your Strengths
Sometimes women in business can shy away from showcasing compassion and empathy because they are seen as too “soft” or “feminine” for the business world. However, if those are things that you pride yourself on and know you can leverage to make your business better, lean in.
Applied Development is proud to be a woman-owned business in Baltimore. If you have any questions about mentorship or want to learn more, feel free to give us a call at 410.571.4016 or contact us on the website.