How women entrepreneurs can make being a woman-owned business work for them!
Presented by UF Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations
This past summer, I had the incredible opportunity to publish the below excerpt on the White House blog The United State of Women, a global collective committed to improving the lives of women and girls everywhere. I also attended a summit in Washington D.C. featuring celebrities, dignitaries, activists, disruptors and women from all corners of industry and walks of life. I even had a front row seat for an address by President Obama. The energy was electric and it was impossible to leave without feeling compelled to ACT! I wanted to harness the enthusiasm and energy of the summit. The result – the inaugural UF Women’s Business + Leadership Conference.
In conjunction with Women’s Small Business Month, this event is designed to connect, educate, and inspire women entrepreneurs toward action. It will include dynamic speakers, panel discussions and more. I hope that this will become a signature event not just for UF, but the entire community.
Although there are still challenges, there has never been a better time to be a woman in business. Here are a few ways women entrepreneurs can make being a woman-owned business work for them.
Focus on profitability, not just passion
Is your passion profitable? While some entrepreneurs successfully build a business based on their passion, sometimes following your passion can lead to slow growth and low revenue. Consider the growth and revenue potential between business-to-consumer vs. business-to-business entities. Both are great paths, but they can result in completely different outcomes when it comes to revenue potential, cost per sale/order or the ability to scale. Cultivating multiple lines of business and revenue is key.
Build your net worth based on your network
The internet and social media have changed the way entrepreneurs do business and are a great way to network. Social media takes the traditional networking model a step further, allowing savvy participants to quickly connect to many contacts and create a robust business model to generate revenue and build net worth based on their network.
Think outside the “ideal” mentor box
Access to networks for financing, references, resources, etc. are not always readily available to women but may come through a mentor relationship. Women oftentimes look for mentors who are similar to them. This can create a comfortable situation, but it may not be the best formula for business. Mentors might not come in the form that we envision. Women may need to step outside the “ideal” mentor box.
Consider non-traditional entrepreneurial opportunities
There are many lucrative, non-traditional industries for women to consider such as construction or technology. While they may not be considered “sexy,” a business that makes money is very sexy!
Tout your status as a woman-owned business
Becoming certified provides businesses with increased access and visibility to entities that seek to do business with women-owned firms. Many entities have supplier diversity programs focused on finding qualified women-owned businesses to do business with.
This has been condensed from the original post, available here: http://www.theunitedstateofwomen.org/blog/women-entrepreneurs/
By Kathey Porter, MBA, CPSD | Director, UF Small Business & Vendor Diversity Relations