10 Tips For A Female Entrepreneur Just Starting Out

Are you a new female entrepreneur or thinking of starting your own business? To limit the reasons why you will look back in 10 years and say, “if only I knew then, what I know now!”, founder of SEAMS and female entrepreneur, Karen J Gerrard, shares her tips that she learnt along the way.

Running a business is 24/7 and it’s not all going to be plain sailing. Although us women are very good at multi-tasking unless you are someone who doesn’t need more than a couple of hours sleep, it’s really not possible to do it all and it may take those around you time to adapt to the new you.

The key here is communication if you are struggling over an issue in business or at home ask for help and more importantly explain why.

Be organised make to do lists, set up what’s app groups with family so you all know what’s going on, you will always need to prioritise between family and business but try not to let guilt set in and take up even more of your energy.

Lesson #1: You can only do the best you can with what you have at the time and that will be enough

Set up your company, get your trademarks, patents if applicable. If you go for investment in the future these are the first things you will get asked about. Get professional help don’t try to cut corners, it may be costly but well worth it, a lawyer or an accountant can save you a lot of money in the long run! If you are signing a contract with another party have a lawyer look over it they could add in a clause that you wouldn’t have thought about and the slightest change in a sentence could equate to saving a lot of pennies in the future. For example every business deal is set out with the best intentions but things can go wrong and a ‘get out clause’ agreed with everyone at the start can mean an amicable exist for all and avoiding a court case!

Lesson #2: The business of a lawyer is to make sense of the confusion.

List your ‘company brand pillars, they will continually evolve.

  • Foundation– where you started
  • USP
  • Your ideal customer
  • The company voice – the tone with which your company will communicate.
  • Principles
  • Where you are heading.

Lesson #3: Know where you’re coming from, where you are going and you will get there quicker

Craft an elevator pitch – know the USP of your business and be able to articulate in a few sentences think of it as if you are getting into an elevator with a customer and by the time you reach the top floor they will understand what you do.

Lesson #4: If you can’t explain it simply you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein

Got an important decision to make? Try not to beat yourself up! Think back a year ago do you remember that important problem that you were stressing about? Probably not. The same will happen what you are worrying about today.

Lesson #5: Don’t make decisions on fear or worry

There’s always an alternative if something doesn’t feel right don’t do it. There will be people trying to knock you back do not let yourself be bullied into something you don’t believe. If you are asked something in a meeting and are unsure say ‘I will get back to you on this and give a time when you will’.

Lesson #6: Always trust your instincts they are messages from your soul

If you are feeling burnt out put on the red light, you must be able to switch off. For me it’s watching a film. Thinking time can be equally if not more beneficial than doing, some of my best ideas come to me when late at night when the house is quiet.

Lesson #7: Stop, Look, Listen and think

Find a mentor – learn from others who have been there before most people will want to help. I have had a couple of male mentors who I still call today, growing a business is like building blocks of lego with new challenges at every stage, and pass on your knowledge be both the mentee and the mentor.

Lesson #8: The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal him his own – Benjamin Desraeli

Have your finances in place, I think it’s still more difficult for a woman to raise funds than a man and whatever you budget it’s going to cost it will be more!

Lesson #9: Everything you do in business will have a financial consequence

Adapt – The past year has shown us the biggest reset ever in the business world companies having to adapt at speed. It’s no longer a stigma to be running a business from home with many big companies saying that even when we get back to some kind of normal employees may stay working remotely a few days a week. More women than ever are starting their own business you can too. If you want something you’ve never had then do something you’ve never done before.

Lesson #10: The place outside your comfort zone is where you will grow.

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