Most businesswomen will tell you that starting a business is both one of the most challenging and most rewarding ways to earn a living. Being a successful businesswoman requires a large amount of hard work and dedication, but also generally relies on a set of personal qualities and business practices that are common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.
These characteristics lie as much in a business's founding principles as in its day-to-day operations and dictate every decision the entrepreneur makes. By following these guidelines, you can up your chances of founding a successful business or getting your existing business back on track.
1. Do what you know. That is, you should start a business that focuses on what you have experience in. That experience can be either prior work experience or a personal hobby that you're ready to turn into a career. Even if a business idea seems highly profitable in theory, don't start that business unless your heart is in it. While profit is important, it likely won't keep you coming in early every day and driving growth.
- For example, imagine you have experience making coffee as a barista or waiter and want to turn your passion for good coffee into a small business. You would already know a good amount about the industry and be able to apply not only your knowledge but your passion to your work.
- For our coffee shop example, your purpose would be serving the perfect cup of coffee to every customer. Alternately, it could be to form a community in your coffee shop where people can meet and spend time with friends.
- With the coffee shop, ask yourself: Am I trying to appeal to "coffee snobs" who don't mind waiting five minutes for their pour-over? Or is my focus on the people who are on their way to work and want to grab a cup and run? Or both? Understanding the people you plan to serve can help you serve them better.
- For example, imagine that in our example, you want to start a large operation that sources, imports, roasts, and packages its own coffee beans that are then either sold or served to customers at its coffee shops. Rather than seeking huge contributions from investors to buy all of this equipment, you should start with a small coffee shop first, then maybe try sourcing and importing beans, and work up from there to build a brand.
- Also seek general small business tips online; the web is a goldmine of information. Just be sure your information is from a reliable source.
6.Find a mentor. A good mentor in this case is someone who has already run or is running a successful business of their own. A good example would be MadamèCEO. MadamèCEO mentors can help you with anything from knowing how to manage your employees to properly filing your taxes. Because their knowledge comes from direct experience, they're able to help you more personally than any other source could.
- While your mentor doesn't have to have founded the same type of business you are starting, it would help. For example, another coffee shop founder would be the best source of information in our coffee shop example, but a restaurateur could also be of significant help.