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6 Small Business Owners On What They Wish They’d Known Before Getting Started

The number of women entrepreneurs from 1972 to 2018 increased by nearly 3,000 percent. Three. Thousand. Percent.To say that women are rewriting the rule book for entrepreneurship is an understatement. While it’s amazing to see women take those glitzy C-Suite positions at major corporations, seeing women start their own shit is just as cool. Business owners grapple with some very specific challenges, and learning while doing. It’s not an easy hustle, but it certainly is a rewarding one.

Since November is National Entrepreneurship Month, we thought we’d kick it off by sharing advice from some of the brilliant women entrepreneurs from the Girlboss network. Read on for advice on everything from hiring and setting prices, to challenging fear and recognizing your strengths (and weaknesses!). Then, join in on the conversation at Girlboss and meet entrepreneurs in your industry and area.

1. Your prices aren’t about your personal worth, they reflect the knowledge you have and processes you’ve built.

“I think as women we have a hard time seeing our financial value. When I first started out and tried to set my pricing, it was hard to be confident in what I charged. Three years in, I now understand overhead, fixed and variable costs, and the need to make a profit. Your pricing doesn’t reflect your personal worth, it’s the worth of buying from your business including the processes you’ve built, efficiencies you’ve created and the relationships you’ve nurtured. When I started to look at it that way, I was way more confident in my pricing. It didn’t feel so personal.” –Lisa Maccarthy, Founder and Creative Director

2. Outsource help so you can reclaim your time.

“Hire an assistant! I neglected this for so long, and when another business owner gave this advice to me, it was game-changing. I was able to have someone filter through my emails so I could focus on building growing the business. I always found it hard to manage employees, grow revenue, and answer all the client emails. Having an assistant helped create a barrier: My assistant would filter through any requests and only alert me if it was pressing. This really helped me focus and not feel so overwhelmed.” –Helen Rankin, Partner and CMO at SwagUp.com

3. Don’t wait for perfection. The sooner you start, the sooner you build your audience.

“Your product doesn’t have to be perfect to start getting the word out about it. Figure out what small thing you can put out into the world to start getting feedback on, and go for it! The sooner you can get in front of potential customers, the more likely they are to trust you and help shape your business in the right direction.” –Sarah Greisdorf, CEO at Holdette

4. Challenge your perception of fear.

“The best advice I’ve gotten so far is that ‘fear’ is ‘false evidence appearing real.’ As I’m working on growing my business, that phrase has become a confidence booster and motivator. Sometimes I look around, and it seems like other founders have it all figured out. When that happens, instead of questioning my qualifications and abilities, I begin to question the so-called ‘evidence.’ Building a business is hard enough, even if everything is going right. Add in self-doubt, and it’s a big hill to climb. This advice has helped me approach the work with more confidence and joy!” –Kinsey Lane Sullivan, Founder of The Lane Collective

5. Recognize your weaknesses.

“Above all, find the right people. If you have people on your team who share your values, mindset, and have a better set of skills in areas where you lack, then you have a recipe for success. Most leaders know their weaknesses. Find people who have strength in your areas of weakness, then you won’t waste time doing things you could have delegated to others. Focus on working in your area of genius and find passionate people that will do the same.” –Brandi Myree, Co-Founder of Omni Beauty Group

6. Factor in your customers’ wants and needs, every step of the way.

“Understand your customers: Who the customer is and what problem your productor service is solving. And always keep these at the centre of your business.” –Simona Sutaviciute, Founder


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