In 2017, only 46% of female business owners thought that their revenue was going to increase over the course of the following year. That percentage, as well as their confidence, has increased more in 2018. Now, 60% of women business owners see a bright future over the next 12 months. Women are still behind men in the overall percentages, but the 14% increase is better than the average for men, which was only 10%.
This is an important step forward, as female entrepreneurs continue to gain ground in the business world and are continuously recognized as true leaders and multitaskers. No one understands the difficulties female entrepreneurs face better than Ann Puig, a Costa Rican business leader and philanthropist who has made it her life’s goal to be a trailblazer in the industry. She shares several pointers to help others achieve business growth goals.
Start by being specific with the goals. Detail the goal on a timeline with established numbers and specifics on what is to be accomplished, and when. Determine, for example, how much is needed for funding to reach the goal and how each dollar will be spent. This will allow the entrepreneur to see the future of the company and sell the idea with confidence, rather speaking to possible investors or to clients.
Seek out network contacts with determination. “When approaching new contacts,” explains Puig, “you have to know exactly what your business is and you have to be able to convey the message in a clear and concise format that can be understood by anyone. Practice in front of a mirror, with family and friends and even children. Speaking to a potential connection requires that they not only understand you, but that they understand the business the same way that you do.”
Also, when networking, it’s important to do it with “aim” – be as real and authentic as possible. Don’t present yourself as someone asking for money; rather, present the idea in a way that shows the contact how they can receive value from being involved. Furthermore, keep in mind that face-to-face interactions are overwhelmingly powerful.
It’s important to also find input from mentors, even if only through a brief encounter. Mentors can be peers, business leaders, teachers – they can literally be anyone. And, they can all provide another piece of the puzzle. Growing a business can be made much easier by receiving input from a variety of sources, not from relying on only one. “Make it your goal to nurture true relationships that are presented to you, including those who are in the same stage of business development as you are. Learning should be a constant aspect of the business’s growth goals,” says Puig.
From 2002 to 2012, the number of businesses owned by females grew more than double the average in the US. This trend has continued and female entrepreneurs are constantly becoming entrenched in their endeavors, with more every year planning on expanding. The business landscape is undergoing a transformation and women are the ones who are leading the way.