The best way to bring inspiration to any aspiring, women business owner is to share my own story, but it’s also crucial to share a few valuable tips that can help your business thrive.
First, we must define what we are trying to achieve as business owners. Second, we must define the purpose and the why we do what we do. Third, we must outline a clear pathway of when is the right time to invest and expand. Fourth, we must identify who are we trying to convince to sell the services or products we are offering. And fifth and last, what can we do differently starting tomorrow?
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we must challenge ourselves to think BIGGER, BOLDER and BETTER. As business owners, you will become the judge on every decision you make regarding your business. I have been blessed to be in business for over seven years now, but I won’t lie to you- it is not easy. It takes a lot of sacrifice, sweat, tears and blood to do everything we do.
With this, the first tip that will help your business thrive is having authenticity. We need to be authentic, as that resonates with others. When I took the risk to go on my own and start my business, I knew that being authentic was crucial. Being authentic isn’t just a fad; a business that focuses on being real will, without a doubt, inspire and prosper.
The second thing is always having a clear sense of purpose. Your purpose, which is your WHY, has to be at the core of everything you do. Many companies are very clear on what they do, the services they provide, and the products they produce, sell or distribute, but they are not necessarily clear on why they do what they do. You will inspire and bring customers and valuable talent when you have a clear sense of purpose that resonates with others.
Third, you must have integrity. Having your own business is a HUGE responsibility. Why is it such a huge responsibility? It’s your credit, your name, your reputation. Having a sense of integrity comes from the ethics and our way of doing business. It’s doing the right thing when no one is watching. When we do things correctly, others notice, and people want to do business with those who do things the right way. It takes years, if not decades, to build a solid business, but ONE thing to ruin it.
Fourth, you need to be bold on what you want to achieve. If you don’t have a plan, how will you make things happen? No matter what type of business, we all need to have a plan. Remember, the more that you plan ahead, the better you are going to be. We must also be mindful of evolving and shifting to stay relevant and competitive. When I started my own business, I did it for three years from my own home. Then, I was able to expand my business with offices, Innovation Labs, and Biometrics. Why did I do this? I wanted to establish value and long-term success in the eyes of my customers.
Fifth, you need to be selective and choose wisely. When you are clear on what you want and are selective, you will constantly be on top of your game. Is what you want right? Is that customer or business right for you? Do you have the right team members? Everything must go back to your sense of purpose, and you must be mindful of what you want.
Sixth is having a clear pathway forward. When you are moving forward, you should be considering: Should I hire people? When should I hire them and how many? When should I open offices? Do I stick with doing everything remotely from my home? When should I buy equipment? When should I advertise? All of these things are extremely important for us to consider as we build our pathway forward. You have control of what you do.
I know that sometimes we may get in the mindset of: “Why did I decide to open my own business? It’s too much work and sacrifice and I can’t take it.” This happens to all of us, but guess what? We can all do it, so don’t let barriers get in your way! Yes- it takes a LOT of sacrifice, effort and sweat, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.
In order to reach true success, we must be innovative and disruptive. It takes a lot of courage to be disruptive. We must always stay ahead, read books, do online research, be inquisitive, and always be in the know. Always challenge the status quo, and ask yourself:
Is there a way to do this better? What do I need to do to help my company grow, help my team thrive and win? The more we challenge ourselves, the better we will be!
Since we have covered our business foundation, we can now dig deeper into the important factor of putting our customers and consumers at the center of everything we do. By understanding your customers and their needs and building a sense of empathy with them, we will be able to come up with the solutions they seek, no matter the type of business we have.
I want to put this thought in your head: What makes your company different? To know the answer to this question, you must understand your competitors- what are they offering?
You need to set yourself apart. But, how? When we establish our point of difference and know our why, we will be ready to attract, retain and connect more people to our business. Others will only know what makes your company or business special if you communicate your message and engage with them.
Remember: you are your own brand. If you don’t build it, no one else will! As you establish and build your business, you must connect and engage with your target customers and communicate your message in an engaging way. Keep in mind that your story and purpose should help you connect with people in different and bigger ways.
I want to leave you with this thought: it is not just how you start, but how you finish and how you will be building a legacy for yourself and others. Are you ready to spark your business?