5 Traits of Successful Women Business Owners
Today, more and more businesses are founded by women. In fact, in the last five years the number of women-owned businesses increased 21% compared to only 9% for all other businesses1.
If you’re an aspiring woman entrepreneur, you may wonder what is behind this growth in women-owned businesses and how do you know if you’ve got what it takes?
Here are five traits that will help you succeed in your own business.
1.Build a support network
Make sure you’ve built up your network. Consider formal support such as an advisory board, ideally like-minded entrepreneurs with different skills to provide feedback and guidance. Think about attending local events and free workshops with other female small business owner networks to use the power of referrals.
Leverage your network to help you in areas that may be unfamiliar to you. For example, if you know you have a knowledge gap regarding cash flow or accounting, ask for guidance or a referral for help and return the favor in areas where you have experience.
Even just meeting regularly with your own staff and colleagues will help you build an environment of support and encouragement.
Authenticity is critical to successful businesses. Build, understand, and stay true to your core values as a company. Make sure all your communications, from advertising to social media posts, portrays your authentic story. Consumers can inherently tell when a company isn’t being authentic. And in today’s world where things can change from one day to the next, making sure that you’re rock solid in your values will help you remain grounded and successful.
For many women, running their own business is an increasingly viable option. It allows for flexibility to run a company how you think it should be and help maintain a work to life balance. Today, more businesses are able to operate from home or a co-working space—you no longer need an office or storefront on Main Street to be considered credible.
Chances are you’re considering starting a business in an area you’re passionate about—maybe it was something you pursued part time while maintaining a career, so you already understand the importance of flexibility in the workplace. As you’re starting out, maintain that sense of flexibility with your employees as well as your customers. Being willing to flex slightly to meet a customer's need could help give you a competitive advantage.
4. Negotiating advantages
Be confident in your ability to produce your offering or provide your service and focus on your competitive advantage, not a bargain price.
Test any pitching or contract negotiations with your advisory group and have the confidence to charge what you’re worth. Understand what your unique selling point is and focus on the benefits you provide.
5. Communication skills
Women are natural communicators. Translate those skills to negotiate a deal with a supplier or encourage word-of-mouth advertising among your customers to uncover new opportunities. Communicating on social media is a great outlet for small businesses and a crucial part of success in today’s world.
Check out organizations that support women entrepreneurs, such as the National Association of Women Business Owners, the American Business Women’s Association, or the Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership.
Or check out SCORE.org, the largest network of volunteer business experts in the United States.