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Essential Advice for Women Venturing Into Business

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There has been a long history of men being at the helm when it comes to leading the business world, but this is rapidly shifting. Women are venturing into business more and more and are making significant strides. There are so many examples of inspiring female entrepreneurs and businesswomen who are achieving impressive success.

 

Are you a woman with big dreams of business success? As you embark on your journey towards your business goals, here is some important advice to keep in mind.

 

Don't be Afraid to Say No

Working in business, whether you’re an entrepreneur or in a highly demanding job, means that you will have a lot of different people wanting your time. You’ll often find that your to-do list is a mile long and you can never seem to reach the bottom of it. There is always something more you could be doing. This can be incredibly draining and can leave you feeling stressed and burnt out. When you stretch yourself too thin, you can end up producing mediocre products and services because you just don’t have the time or energy.

 

It’s important to learn to prioritise your most valuable resources—your time and energy. Focus on the things that are most important to your business and don’t be afraid to say no to things that do not help you in achieving your goals. You’re only human! You can only do so many things at once, so focus on the crucial things and do them well.

 

  Don't Be Shy When Marketing Yourself

Many women report that they find self-promotion a challenge because they are raised to be quiet, polite, and not to “brag.” However, a healthy amount of self-promotion is incredibly important in business. After all, how else will customers find out about you if you don’t put yourself out there?

 

If you really want to excel in business, you will need to learn how to advertise yourself—even if you feel uncomfortable at first. If “self-promotion” feels a little too pushy for you, you can think of it as “making your work visible” instead. The more people hear about what you do, the more opportunities you will have to help others and to grow your business.

 

  Don't Think of Yourself as a "Female in Business"

When you think of yourself as a “female entrepreneur” rather than just an “entrepreneur,” it puts limitations on yourself and the way that you perceive your abilities. Don’t put yourself in a box—you are not your gender. There is nothing that you cannot achieve if you put your mind to it. We now live in an increasingly progressive world that affords opportunities for both men and women in business, so don’t confine or, worse, look down on and discourage yourself. 

 

  Identify Your Skills and Use Them to Their Full Potential

What are you good at? Your business will thrive when you focus on the skills that you really excel at, and then delegate other tasks as needed. You will need to figure out your business’ USP, which is your “Unique Selling Point" or "Unique Selling Proposition." This is what differentiates your business from other businesses—the unique way in which your services or your product is special. Why should someone do business with you, when there are so many other options in your industry? 

 

Identifying your USP is crucial. If you are being true to your unique set of skills then this is something that your competitors cannot imitate. When you make your business stand out from the crowd, everything you do will become easier because customers will come to you. It’s not about being the best; it’s about being unmistakably you. Being the only one who does something is better than being the best at doing something because you won’t have to compete at all. 

 

These tips can help guide you along your path to business success. We at BPW can provide valuable help, guidance, advice, and mentorship for women who are venturing into business. Our aim is to help you achieve your business goals, so don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to help you out.

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BPW International develops the professional, business and leadership potential of women on all levels through advocacy, mentoring, networking, skill building and economic empowerment programs and projects around the world.

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Guest Saturday, 19 August 2017