Starting a business isn't easy. Whether it's picking a business idea, creating a business plan or attempting to secure funding, a lot of things can go wrong. However, with a solid idea and a strong support system, a woman can become a successful entrepreneur.
In honor of International Women's Day (Friday, March 8), Business News Daily asked female entrepreneurs to share their best advice for women seeking to start their own business.
Tell everyone about your business.
"Let everyone know what you're doing. And I mean everyone – your friends, your family members, even your acquaintances – should know which industry you are in and exactly what you are doing. People around us are usually our first customers, and it is an easy way to kick-start your business. This ensures that when it comes to the product or service you are selling, you will be the first person on everyone's minds." – Madeline Ong, co-founder of Legend Age
Network with other women business owners.
"There are a lot of like-minded women building businesses and groups focused on women entrepreneurs. Some are locally based, industry-based, even nationally based. Participate in those groups and create your network of other women entrepreneurs … Whether it's referring a new client, an investor, or just someone to vent about the challenges of running a business, no one can empathize with your situation better than another female entrepreneur." – AlexAnndra Ontra, co-founder and president of Shufflrr and co-author of Presentation Management: The New Strategy for Enterprise Content
Solve something meaningful.
"Starting a company isn't always easy, and it's critical you work on something that means a lot to you. Women's health – and building a product that empowers women to take control over their lives with data insights – is what drives me every day with Ava." – Lea von Bidder, CEO and co-founder of Ava Science Inc.
"Be decisive in your decision-making. Each day is different in your responsibilities as a business owner; be diligent in solving problems and challenges along the way. In doing so, you will have more time and resources to grow your business." – Jennifer Frye, founder and marketing coach at Clever Me
Identify and understand your audience.
"Be as specific as possible about who your audience is. Identify your ideal customer and which communities she is a part of. Choose a single community to serve at first and stick with that community as long as possible. Tailor your product, your messaging and your entire process toward that specific community, and only expand when you have to. In this way, you'll ensure a strong product-market fit and learn how to let your customers lead you where you need to go." – Micki Krimmel, founder and CEO at Superfit Hero
Have concrete goals.
"Not having a clear picture of what you want to accomplish as an entrepreneur could result in many challenges as you grow and scale your business. Having concrete goals will allow you to create more defined objectives that will, in turn, make it easier to execute your goals and make your entrepreneurial journey a little clearer." – Ericka Perry, founder of The Stork Bag
Don't let impostor syndrome stop you.
"A lot of women out there deal with feeling symptoms of 'impostor syndrome.' It holds so many people back, the second-guessing, the fear. If you know what you're doing is worthy, absolutely no one can stop you, not even yourself." – Katia Pryce, CEO and founder of DanceBody [Related: Feel Like an Impostor? Here's How to Fix It]
Don't be afraid of pursuing an unexpected path.
"My advice is to focus on the areas in which your company creates value and makes your customers happy. Don't be afraid of pursuing an unexpected path. Though Snappy was focused on consumer gifting, the spike in companies approaching us with requests to use Snappy for their employees helped us decide it was the perfect time to test corporate gifting for the holiday season, and it exceeded all expectations." – Hani Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Snappy Gifts
Find a mentor.
"Although there are educational entrepreneurial programs, nothing can really prepare you for the real-life hurdles of owning a business. Find a solid mentor or mentor(s) to coach you, introduce you to people and bounce ideas off of. I actually didn't have a mentor when I started out, and I wish I did. I have a few now that always give me great insights that I wouldn't have thought about myself." – Kimberly Eberl, CEO and owner of The Motion Agency [Related: How to Find a Mentor]
Incorporate before doing business.
"For liability reasons, it's wise to incorporate or form an LLC before the business takes off. Incorporating or forming an LLC can help protect personal assets by separating the business from your personal affairs. If anything were to go wrong with the business, it's wise to make sure your house, car and personal assets are properly protected." – Deborah Sweeney, CEO at MyCorporation.com