What would you tell another female entrepreneur?
Starting a business for the first time is exciting and scary all at the same time. Face it, it’s hard enough for anyone, but often, for a woman, it has its own share of obstacles.
Indeed, many believe that our economy needs more women leading companies. In fact, it seems that in some cases, women may do a better job running companies.
We thought it might be good for aspiring and brand new female entrepreneurs in Arkansas to receive advice from some of the best female entrepreneurs in the state. Talk Business & Politics’ Todd Jones reached out to several experienced Arkansas female entrepreneurs to get their best advice for other female entrepreneurs.
Alese Stroud, Merger Match
Engage with good mentorship early and often. Mentors will challenge you in unexpected ways. Find a way to learn from people who have made this journey before you.
Leslie Moore, Collective Creative & Consulting
Don’t do business with people who talk down to you. In fact, don’t let these people into any part of your life. Treat everyone with respect and don’t accept anything less for yourself or your business.
Jennifer Adair, Ponder Monster
Never be afraid to try something new – you don’t want to look back and think, “I wish I would have tried that!” Also, ask for help when you need it. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness.
Erica Swallow, Noble Impact
The three most important traits that any female founder should possess in order to launch her own startup are an unbeatable spirit, flexibility, and the ability to persuade others. These are universal traits for all entrepreneurs, but they are particularly necessary for women, who tend to hold themselves back due to the “confidence gap” between the sexes. Furthermore, a strong female mentor can go a long way in setting an example for a budding entrepreneur – if you’re a young founder and haven’t got one yet, get on that.
Cara Brookins, Author, Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur life is the only place where both steps forward and steps back bring you closer to your goal. Start your business months, or even years before you believe you are ready. And every time you fail, hang it on the wall as evidence that you tried. A successful entrepreneur has more failed business ideas under her belt than the average woman ever conceives.
Tricia Beavers, Photo Booth, Etc.
1. Customer service is key. You are nothing without your customers. When working with customers (or potential customers), put yourself in their shoes, what would make them happy, be honest & respectful, respond in a timely manner and always make sure every aspect of their experience with you doesn’t just meet their expectations, but beats it!
2. Don’t be scared or intimidated to ask questions or to ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness or unintelligence – it’s a sign that you want to learn and grow.
3. Make your point in as few words as possible. A lot of women I know tend to over-explain, over-sell and quite simply overdo it.
Jeannette Balleza Collins, Scribe Marketing
Nod to the Greeks, and “know thyself.” Take time often to reflect on who you are and what you want. When you know your mind and your values, you’ll be better prepared for making critical decisions and willfully can trust your gut. Be very deliberate with the way you communicate in conversations, whether online or in person, choosing words that embrace your humility but don’t undermine your credibility. Do your homework, and understand your audience. Women’s propensity for empathy gives you a built-in advantage here. Additionally, our wiring predisposes us to read for context and strive for win-wins, yet again giving us an edge in negotiations.
Kim Herrington, Orsanna, Digital Marketing & Website Design
Having support from family. As my business has grown from just me with a computer writing online content for businesses to a full-service digital agency, I had to accept I just couldn’t do it all on my own. It takes a lot of determination to run a successful business, but it’s important to allow yourself to depend on someone else. Bringing a partner into my business was one of my best decisions because it allowed for growth that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise and made my life as a business owner much saner.
What kind of advice do you have for other entrepreneurs? Please share.