More and more women are turning to entrepreneurship to gain the freedom and flexibility of being their own boss, as well as to escape the sexism and gender politics of the workplace.
While entrepreneurship seems exciting and liberating it is also an extremely daunting prospect. It can be hugely comforting to know there are many women who have already forged a successful entrepreneurial path for those of us to follow.
Successful female entrepreneurs consistently agree that the following are key areas to get right from the get go for the best chance of success.
Letting it be about the money
Financial success means independence, freedom and choice and that’s ultimately what we all want. However women get caught up in chasing their passion, making a change in the world and the resulting guilt of charging for this.
The guilt may stem from imposter syndrome and the fear around being deserving of success or from a truly altruistic belief that we cannot charge for something that comes easily to us and brings us joy.
But guess what?
There is nothing wrong with chasing our dreams and certainly nothing wrong with turning our passions into a lucrative money making business.
And if we go into our entrepreneurial endeavours from a mindset that we are simply exchanging real value and are entitled to receive value in return we set ourselves up with the right attitude for success.
Know your worth and charge accordingly
The follow on from the first success factor is charging the correct amount. This is the amount that corresponds with where you believe your value to be at the stage you find yourself in your business.
Amy Porterfield, the widely followed online marketing expert, tells the story of her first course launch where she tried to charge around $1,000 and ended up selling only one course. If you have followed anything that Amy does that launch was undoubtedly worth that amount.
However Amy said she felt so much discomfort in charging that seemingly vast sum that clearly she didn’t yet believe in her own value. She ended up charging about a third of that and launched successfully on the second round, building up to the £1,000 launch within a few months.
Bottom line. Know your value. Believe in your value. And feel confident in sharing your wonderful work at that value.
Understand your finances
As a creative person the money side of things may not be the most exciting area for you to focus on, but this is where the magic happens.
This is where freedom is being designed step by step.
All successful female entrepreneurs emphasise getting on top of the money side of things from the very start.
Have a profit first mentality.
Mike Michalowicz, is all over this profit first idea in his book of the same title. He suggests we often start out focusing on the wrong elements, the revenue and the costs, leaving the most important item, the profit as the afterthought. As a result we often end up with no profit and our entrepreneurial adventure turns into the nightmare of running on the treadmill of longer hours, more costs than profit and no freedom whatsoever.
In his book he suggests focusing on sales less profits to determine how much your costs can be. Create an envelope system for the business where every sales receipt is allocated in set percentages, with the first allocation to a targeted profit with the remaining balance allocated to the other costs. This guarantees a profit from day one.
Budget and plan for the cost element by providing for each cost from each sale. This means one envelope will be tax, one envelope will be cost of goods sold, one for marketing costs, one for payroll and so forth.
Mike emphasises that the payroll element is also a key factor. Pay yourself a salary (and a pension) if you can. If you cannot this is not a viable business because nobody else would work in it for free so why should you?
If finances are not your strong point, build your education, opt for a simple approach and keep on top of understanding the money element.
As I mentioned earlier this is where the entire success of your business rests. Your creativity and your skills deserve the strongest platform to shine and a stable financial base provides that.