Monday, February 02, 2009

Women Entrepreneurs Growing in Numbers

Is there a good, better or best time to start a business? Probably not. When you are ready, you're ready and nothing is going to get in your way -- even if times are tough.

Nancy Michaels authored this piece (not sure how old it is but it appears to still be relevant) published in U.S. News & World Report, special advertising section. She offers some good tips.

DON'T UNDERVALUE YOURSELF. Women tend to give away too much and charge too little, Learned says, especially those in service-based businesses. Learned suggests women in the service industry adopt value-based fees, rather than hourly. This involves pinning a dollar amount to your knowledge and services, and charging per project, not per hour.

REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED YOUR OWN COMPANY. Women can quickly lose site of their desire to have a balanced life in the face of a demanding new business. Gilmore says she regularly has to stop and weigh the value of the task at the moment against her personal needs.

NETWORK, BUT IN A WAY YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH. Many people who go into business for themselves flock to networking groups because they believe it's the smart thing to do. This is true for men as well as women. But depending on your personality and preferences, these groups may not be the best forum for networking.

DON'T FORGET YOU ARE RUNNING A BUSINESS. Piling on the work/life benefits won't do anyone any good if doing so cuts too deeply into the company's bottom line. "One of the biggest lessons I've learned is how to create a culture that is attentive to the individual and allows you to still make it as a business," says Gilmore.

"If your business is to thrive," says Glaser, "you must market yourself and take credit for your achievements. If you don't market your business, no one will know what you have to offer."


Beyond Corporate America said...

It's funny because I am starting my own photography business and I am constantly thinking "I'm new at this, I'll do it for free". People do take advantage of this because they don't realize that I personally post process each picture. I have to keep reminding myself that I am starting a business and it will never get started if I'm giving everything away!

Laurel Delaney said...

Dear BCA ...

Thanks for emailing. Giving away parts of your great work is not a bad idea. Check this out ... Tom Peters makes a great business case out of giving away stuff but it's always "how much?"