More than 11.6 million businesses are owned by women and generated $1.7 trillion in sales in 2017, according to the National Association of Woman Business Owners. Those figures are set to rise as more women turn to entrepreneurship to fulfill their career desires, their creative dreams and their need for flexibility. It's not easy when you're first getting started, as our founder Kym can attest to. She offers four key tips that helped her out when she started her business so other women can learn from her lessons.
1. Be choosy in the resources you need. You can set up a blog for free. You can schedule social media updates for free. Have a printer? You can print out business cards and other materials on the cheap. Freelancers, contractual workers, friends and family—tap into your network as you get started.
2. Create a solid website and have marketing materials readily available. Act like the company you want to be. Have a pitch deck, messaging, a one sheet, other leave-behind assets. Websites are easy to set up—don’t know how? Someone you know probably does. Ask someone who knows SEO to give you a sense of keywords to optimize for your digital presence. Come up with an editorial calendar and cadence so you put out regular content, which helps increase visibility and come up in search results more often.
3. Know that nothing is beneath you. As an owner of your own shop, you have to be able to handle anything in the company. If someone isn't available to get a task done to meet a customer deadline, be ready to roll up your sleeves. You are finance, marketing, human resources, facilities. Get down and figure it out. It will make you more resourceful, creative and able to problem-solve.
4. Network with and champion other women. Talk with those who have done it before and those who are starting out like you. Understand what they have learned, the mistakes they’ve made, what they would have done differently. Be one another’s “tribe.” Bounce ideas, vent when things get rough, hold each other up and celebrate one another’s successes. We're in this together.
Photo courtesy Creative Commons