Women today enjoy freedoms at a level that far supersedes their ancestors. In the majority of nations and cultures in the world today, educating and empowering women to achieve their full potential has become the norm. Over the centuries, mankind has realized that allowing women into the workforce has benefitted them on the whole.
Women have come a long way in terms of being entrepreneurs, from the days when they sold things at the market and brought home sewing, to this modern era when they are CEOs of multinational companies. Women are at the forefront of financial and technological advancement all over the world.
However, we can’t ignore the fact that many women entrepreneurs still face challenges on account of their gender. There are still cases of gender discrimination, even though you’re the boss of your own company. That’s why being a woman entrepreneur comes with its own set of challenges. Despite all this, you’ll have to grow your own brand in order to see your business ultimately succeed.
Decide on Your Brand by Being Yourself
Authenticity is very important when creating a brand. You don’t want your business to be just like everyone else in the same field. The way you’ll attract the eyes of clients, customers and collaborators is to be unique. In order to do that, you’ll have to bring out your own unique traits. Everyone is different, and if you inject that into your brand, it will bring you places. No one is attracted to personal brands that are too ‘safe’ and ‘correct’.
You’ll want to be a woman who doesn’t necessarily stick to cultural expectations. Asian culture, especially, expects women to be mild mannered, quiet and submissive. If that’s not you, don’t be afraid to be loud, opinionated and brave enough to be firm.
Setting Goals will Save Your Brand
Whether you offer a service or are dealing with a product, you have to set goals for your brand. This will help drive your actions and guide your plans. Set both long term and short term goals. For example, determine how much profit you want to achieve in one year, as well as five years. Determine how many people you want to network with within this year, and so on.
It is also advisable that you set realistic goals. Nobody knows your own brand like yourself. If you set a goal too lofty, you’ll get discouraged very fast. This doesn’t mean that you don’t set high goals, but you should manage your expectations of yourself and your business.
Networking as a Capital
As an entrepreneur, you will notice that most of your opportunities come from people that you know. This is often called ‘The Bonding Capital’, which is capital for your business that comes from professional relationships. It’s important that you come up with a one liner with which you can describe yourself and your business easily when you meet people. It’s crucial that you make a good first impression, and one of the first descriptions you give about yourself is probably what will stick.
Always try and widen your contacts. This means that you should try and meet people from other industries and fields, not just your own or those close to what you do. It’s actually a very enriching experience when you meet people outside your comfort zone. The amount of knowledge you will gain is going to enrich your business. This is one of the ways you can gather information on how to strategize in order to grow your business to a whole new level.
Use the Power of Social Media
Social media is one platform which you can use to maximize your exposure to potential clients and customers. Equip yourself with the knowledge on how to market your brand online. You can attend workshops and seminars on the subject, and take it as an investment for the future of your marketing.
Knowing how to use social media to build your brand isn’t just about reaching out to the correct demographics. It’s also about knowing how to interact with your customers in a healthy way. It’s not just about being timely and professional, but giving them that extra care that will make them feel appreciated. The type of service you provide by answering online queries will strongly go towards building a strong brand for you business.
Project a Confident Self Image
As the founder of a business, you are the ‘face’ of your brand. Therefore, your business will be judged on how you present yourself. Having a healthy self image is important. This means you have to accept your own style and personality. There’s no need to dress luxuriously, but it’s important that you portray confidence when you dress. People gravitate towards confidence and self assuredness. So no matter what your style is, whether elegant, casual or experimental, do it with confidence and you’ll find that people will trust you more easily.
Self image is also about having principals in your work and life. Principles will guide your decisions and help you make morally sound decisions. In the long run, this will lead to better business practices. Your clients will not worry about being cheated, or whether you will break promises.
Share Your Experiences with Other Women
Every woman entrepreneur has her own unique experience and no two are the same. This is why it’s important that you start sharing your experiences at some point in your career. Look out for platforms where you can speak out to fellow women and fellow entrepreneurs. In the process, you’ll find that you learn a thing or two as well. If you can’t find a place to share your experiences, create your own seminars or workshops. This is one way you can diversify your business too, by providing consultation and training in the field that you’re an expert in.
Focus on Productivity
The most old fashioned way to actually build your brand is to make sure that your business performs up to par with everyone else. This is one way to get yourself noticed. In order to let this happen, you have to get your priorities straight. It’s important to put your customers’ and clients needs above your own and ensure you generate a profit in as little as time as possible.
In order to make your products and services really meet high standards, it’s important to be consistent in your delivery. This means having good time and resource management so that your quality and standards don’t drop over time. Being invested in the present is also another principal you want to hold on to. This includes knowing the latest trends and technologies available for you to improve on your productivity.
Women have proven time and again that they’re able to carry out all sorts of tasks with their own skills and merits. Many women have risen to the top of business leadership positions with their own tenacity and strength. Many women will no doubt continue to do this in the future.
As a woman entrepreneur, the playing field may not always be level. However, just like any entrepreneur regardless of gender, you’ll find that you can succeed if you don’t give up and take the opportunities that arise.