4 Things Every Female Entrepreneur Should Know Before Starting Her Own Business
Were in a age where just about everyone is starting their own business in hopes of making a way and name for themselves.
The life of Entrepreneurship is far from easy! I’m pretty sure you’ve all seen that meme about entrepreneur’s that reads “late nights, early mornings…” and so on. Well it’s true and as women we ourselves face a series of unique challenges in the start up world, but that’s another topic.
Elite Daily recently enlisted the help of Aubrie Pagano, cofounder and CEO of Bow and Drape, to put together a list of how female entrepreneurs can successfully start their own businesses.
Oh just in case you were wondering what Bow and Drape was it’s a company that allows customers to create everyday clothing of their own designs, all made by a manufacturer right in New York City.
*This list can benefit all Entrepreneurs not just women*
The science is on women’s side, showing that they are often the most compelling negotiators. The caveat? This only applies when women are not advocating for themselves.
Controversially called the “confidence gap,” female entrepreneurs can’t fall prey to insecurity. Instead, it’s essential to be well-spoken and easily able to convey your conviction and your company’s stated goals.
As Pagano said, it’s “a learned art to know how to confidently embody the brand. The CEO’s job is often to be the ultimate cheerleader and ultimate seller of the company.”
Even if these extroverted tendencies don’t come naturally, it’s important for men and women alike to assert themselves for the betterment of their budding business.
“That sort of entrepreneurial spirit is gender neutral; it’s hair color neutral. You either have it or you don’t. A lot of that has to do with fearlessness — knowing where you want to go, your goals and figuring out how to get there. It’s a certain type of person who just says, “All right, how are we going to get this done?’”
Build the Right Team
Building the right time means building the best team for your brand. You want people who embody your values, make meaningful contributions to the bottom line on a regular basis, and easily integrate into the company culture.
Creating a supportive company culture is certainly a start in attracting the best talent, but entrepreneurs also have to know to hire those who truly share in the mission statement and feel passionately about the opportunities to grow the business.
“If you don’t have millions of dollars to pay people, they’re there for something else.”
But this advice isn’t limited to the team you pay to assist with the day-to-day. According to Pagano, enlisting help from the right investors is also crucial, and less about finding someone of the same sex, but rather someone with the same vision and excitement.
“It’s important to find the right partners, especially on the investor side, to build your brand. The people who got it, got it. And I don’t think it’s because I’m a woman, most of [our investors] are men.”
Think Small Before You Get Big
Every big business idea starts with its first customer, and the consumer is someone no entrepreneur can stand to forget or ignore.
Pagano said she wished she had known how imperative it was to start a company “one customer at a time” when Bow and Drape was just starting out.
“What we’ve learned over time is to take care of your customers, every single one. Stake your wins one true customer at a time. Especially in fashion, there’s so much noise and, you could argue, declining loyalty, so to give people a great experience is very critical.”
So while your vision for your company might be larger than life, it’s important to hone who your client is. In understanding them, you can better understand the trajectory your company needs to take to be poised for success and an even bigger audience.
Invest in a Good Watch
This piece of advice is less about the material, and more about what time management means to you.
As an entrepreneur, you have to determine how to best utilize each hour of the day to make the biggest impact on your brand. Pagano reiterated:
“As a young company, your greatest asset is your time. You don’t have a lot of money and you don’t have a lot of brand equity, so you have to use your time wisely.”
Wasted time means wasted efforts in building the brand of your dreams.