Co-Authored by: Susan Johnson & Phoebe Hutchins
Determine Your Unique Selling Proposition
Very few businesses are one-of-a-kind, so it’s important to pinpoint exactly what sets your company apart from the competition. This is especially important for women entrepreneurs, the key is to determine what separates you from your male-run counterparts in the same space, and embrace those differences. Women have the unique challenge of having to break through the glass ceiling and enter the arena as a strong competitor. It requires clarity and creativity to differentiate your offerings from the world of homogenous products. But remember it’s vital to keep your original USP concept consistent as your company grows.
Know Where You Want to Go
Set SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely – objectives. These concrete short- and long-term goals determine the direction in which you plan to take your company, where you plan to be in six months, a year from now, and in two years from now. Remember though, as the space outside your company continues to change, your goals and objectives need to adapt.
Change Your Perspective
One strategy that resonates across all platforms is take your leadership outside the walls of your company. One of the best parts about being a woman is our willingness to help one another and as a woman-in-business, you should use this to your advantage. Set an example and become a resource for other women in similar positions- whether through peer advisory or mentorships. Your ability to network and help other women will ultimately benefit not only yourself but your company. As a female entrepreneur, one of your greatest assets is your network, people who will help you create innovative solutions.
“Human Resources isn’t a thing we do. It’s the thing that runs our business.” – Steve Wynn, Wynn Las Vegas
Employees are the most important resource for any business. As an entrepreneur, you don’t have the time to do everything and be in complete control of all the minutiae. As a woman, your intuition is one of your greatest assets. Trust your gut when hiring employees. It’s important to carefully hire the best team for your business. You don’t have the time to do every job, so hire smart people who you can trust and focus on retaining them.
Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize
Identify what needs to happen and develop strategies to achieve it. It’s easy to get caught up trying to fix everything all at once. Focus on your original goals and try to resolve issues by aligning strategies with your objectives. The more specific you are about your goals, the more your company will benefit. Be the voice for your company’s mission and vision.
Know When to Let Go
The art of the pivot is important for all entrepreneurs. Knowing when to acknowledge a failed idea is key to staying afloat and moving forward. Women tend to have a more difficult time moving from a failed idea than their male counter-parts but every failed idea is an opportunity to learn and tailor your strategy. Know when to quit and admit failure. Your business will be stronger for it.