8 Tips for the Lady Entreprenuer
As a millennial, it’s not uncommon to want to start a business. The cost of living continuously goes up and many job’s starting pay makes it hard to afford the bare minimum. Women have been undervalued in terms of entrepreneurship in the past, but that trend is shifting. Since 2017, the amount of lady entrepreneurs has increased by 30 percent. Here are five tips that can help you and potentially help increase that percentage.
1. Have a Plan FIRST.
Over 30% more businesses succeed when they have a plan of action. Putting product(s) up for sale and getting your L.L.C. are just the first steps. It’s vital that you create a business plan and a business model prior to releasing anything just so that you already have a guide and a plan for what’s going on. A good start for your business plan is to create your mission statement, vision statement, budget sheet, and your bank statement that track all your business dollars. Running a business can definitely be tiresome and costly, so it’s important to know what you’re up against beforehand. It’s also important because in order to scale your business to a larger level, sometimes you may have to apply for a loan or get an investor; without a business plan, they have nothing to look at.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “it’s not always what you know; it’s who you know.” Networking is one of, if not the best way to grow your business. Think of it like this; you can gain something from everybody. There are people who have connects to things and other people that you might need. For example, someone recommended to me that I get a mentor from an organization called SCORE. The mentor I met suggested that I join another design-based organization. When I joined the organization, I was introduced to the director. The director then introduced me to a woman who manufactures clothes at a low minimum who just happened to be operating in my area. For so long, I felt stuck in the same position because I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. It’s all a matter of taking action and not being afraid to put yourself out there.
Make To-Do Lists
To-do lists changed my life. I usually have so many thoughts of bettering my business that it’s literally impossible to remember them all if you don’t put them down on paper. I go through about 1-2 to-do lists a week writing down any task that I need to do that comes to mind. I realized that if I thought it and it makes sense, then it’s a good idea. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to keep up with your tasks. It can be something as small as “Text Tiffany,” or something as complex as “Research what I need to know about the fashion industry.” It feels good when you’re able to check things off your to-do list when you complete tasks. When you complete these small tasks, you’re one step closer to your final goal. I use the To-Do Microsoft app for IOS and I also use a tangible to-do list notepad called “Knock Knock Get Your Sh*t Together Notepad.” It’s AWESOME. Here’s where you can get one: https://www.amazon.com/Knock-Your-Shit-Together-Note/dp/1601066201/ref=asc_df_1601066201/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312009828129&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10505210896380425607&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9016926&hvtargid=pla-422464737494&psc=1
4. Remember That It’s An Ongoing Process
As an entrepreneur, you’re never ever really “finished.” It’s important to keep trying to continuously maximize. You never want to slow down and get comfortable because that’s when you stop progressing. Remember that there are new heights at each point that seems to be a finish line. Never stop learning or doing; you can never know too much.
Sacrifice & Discipline is Necessary
When you’re in business, it’s important to be able to prioritize what matters most to you. Is it business… or bs? Since I’ve been in business, I can’t always have the “fun” that I used to have. In my case (and most cases), having a successful business can be expensive. Depending on how big you want to grow your business, you have to be mindful of that. Be mindful of the people you let in; they can sometimes act as distractions. Everyone won’t understand and that’s okay. This goes back to HOW BIG DO YOU WANT TO SCALE YOUR BUSINESS?
6. Go to Workshops and Seminars
Eventbrite is one of my best friends. There are so many events, panel discussions, workshops, and seminars in most areas. It's all a matter of discovering them. I have discovered so many free workshops off of Eventbrite alone. There's also a recent trend popularizing of entire networks that you can join for an annual or yearly fee. I've met so many people and connections just by taking advantage of the free opportunities I have been finding.
7. Find a Mentor
What better way to learn your business than to shadow and observe someone in your lane who is your idea of success? The best way to soak up knowledge is to watch somebody do it firsthand or do it repeatedly. You may even come across several mentors in your lifetime. If you can't find a mentor, you can always refer to the nonprofit business, https://www.score.org/. There are 300 chapters across the US with over 10,000 potential candidates to choose from with years of experience who will give your business and/or industry advice for free. Another way tool to use as a mentor are books. There are many books written by many highly successful people detailing their journeys giving out free game. For example, in my case, the book #GIRLBOSS served as a temporary mentor for me until I could find one.
Being an entrepreneur is hard work. Remember to take a breather sometimes.