So, you’ve decided to become an entrepreneur. You’re in good company! According to the National Association of Women Business Owners in the U.S., “more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people.”
However, women in business still face more hurdles than their male counterparts. We founded our marketing-communications firm more than 6 years ago and learned a few things along the way.
Here are five tips to help you succeed.
Believe In Yourself.
First and foremost, believe in yourself because then there will be very little that will matter about what anyone else says or does. You should always be your biggest cheerleader. It’s also okay not to get it right the first time and fail before you get it right. Through these failures, you will gain the experience and resilience you need to succeed in business.
Building Relationships is Key.
It’s not about just building profitable businesses. Getting to know your clients and partners personally (whether it’s a birthday celebration or their child’s graduation) goes a long way toward building meaningful relationships beyond doing a good job. It creates a bond and trust with your clients.
Our industry is highly competitive, and we’re not only competing with other small agencies but also with the big established ad agencies that have been around for years.
Be Quick to Fire.
Move away quickly from what’s not working or sitting right with you. Don’t let any negativity linger. That advice doesn’t just apply to employees. Don’t be afraid to fire a client you just don’t jive with. You’re only prolonging the pain and agony if you “umm and ahh” your way through giving them multiple chances. We are all about maintaining healthy relationships. But when the relationship is not healthy, you have to take action. Think of it as ripping off a band-aid—it might sting a bit at first, but you’ve got to get it off quickly so the wounds can start to heal.
Go Balls Out—Legit.
There is no half-assing anything when you own your own business because there is nowhere to hide. When you decide to do something, make sure you execute that thing with all the love, passion, and gusto you can muster. There is just no point otherwise. You’ll only look back and regret that you didn’t give it your all. Your “own” will also be the edge you need to compete above the rest.
When it comes to your employees, you have to remember that they are human first, businesspeople second. If there are concerns or challenges with managing your team, remember that emotions can get involved and feelings can get hurt—especially when you want to flip out, cry and scream if something goes wrong! But as much as you want to, you can’t. Also, don’t give into the emotions—yours or your employee’s. You must reflect your strength at all times (even while you listen and adjust). You’re the professional; you know what’s best. Project your confidence throughout any situation.
Andrea Urioste, founding Partner and President of WonderIn Group, is a dynamic, award-winning, and passionate international marketing professional with over 20 years of agency and brand experience. Charlotte White co-founded the award-winning mission-led marketing media agency Wonder Integrated Group and is a serial entrepreneur, mother, and passionate yogi. Wonder Integrated Group creates meaningful marketing campaigns for brands looking to have a positive impact while outsmarting not outspending the competition.