When a group of like-minded, non-competitive, and diverse women entrepreneurs get together powerful things can happen. Facilitating monthly meetings with Mastermind Groups, small groups of women-owned businesses, has taught me a thing or two. These are just a few lessons that I’ve picked up along the way.
1. You’re Not Alone.
Many small business owners feel that they are alone in their problems. This could not be farther from the truth. By talking openly to other business owners, you will see many commonalities in your current challenges.
2. Accountability is Everything.
One of the best things you can do for yourself and your business is holding yourself accountable to someone, preferably outside of your business. By having someone to push you to make the calls, clear up your to-do list, and drive you to action will push your business growth exponentially.
3. Get a Second Opinion.
If you’re facing an important decision in your business, get a second opinion. By having various outside recommendations you may find more novel solutions and opportunities.
4. Set Realistic Goals for Growth.
One of the worst things you can do when setting goals is setting unrealistic ones. One of the easiest ways to set realistic goals that still challenge you – share them with someone else for feedback and support.
One of the great things about being a small business is that you can innovate and adapt quickly without the limitations of red tape. By adapting to the needs of the marketplace, you can keep and capitalize on your competitive advantages.
6. The Importance of an Advisory Board.
Surround yourself with individuals who not only offer experience and impartial advice, but have a genuine interest in your successes. It gives you valuable feedback and often provides affirmation that you are moving in the right direction.
7. Give Back to the Community.
It is inspiring to see how many women business owners give back to their communities. They take a genuine interest in developing and supporting growth, economically and socially.
8. Listen to Your Customers.
Customers are valuable sources of information and feedback that will provide direction to your operations, product and service offerings, and future plans. If you’re not currently receiving feedback from your customers, you need to start asking. Social media is a great tool to get that conversation started.
9. Don’t Underestimate Your Value.
Many business owners will undervalue their products and services, because they do not perceive the value themselves. Conduct proper market research and price your offerings accordingly, it can make a big difference to your bottom line.
10. Have a Plan.
If you have no idea where you are going and how you are going to get there, than how will you ever measure your growth and successes? It is important to have a business plan, but at the very least you should have an action plan. Start today by creating one for this month, you’ll be amazed at the results.
Ashton Lane is a Business Growth Advisor with NLOWE in both the Avalon region. You can contact Ashton at 709.754.5555 ext. 229, toll-free at 1.888.NLOWE.11, or by email at email@example.com.