You think you have the next big business idea--but how do you get it off the ground?
That's number one of what seems like an endless amount of questions women entrepreneurs face when starting their own businesses. From finding investors and advertisers to gaining the confidence needed to take a risk, women need a place they can go for business advice. They need to know how to turn their "mom shop" into a multi-million dollar company.
Nell Merlino created such a place.
Merlino is the founder, president, and CEO of Count Me In for Women's Economic Dependence, the nation's top not-for-profit provider of resources for women entrepreneurs looking to make their business a million dollar enterprise. She is also the creative force behind "Take Our Daughters to Work Day," which is a program that moves millions to help young girls plan for their future. Merlino helps women entrepreneurs grow their businesses to create jobs and boost economic activity, making women economic leaders.
But how does a small business venture turn into a million dollar company? Merlino has 5 main tips every businesswoman should follow.
1. Start with the end in mind. Write down or cut out pictures of what you ultimately see for yourself and work. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will be able to communicate your vision to others so they can help you get there.
2. Set specific, time-sensitive goals. Write them down and post them where you can see them. Hone your unique definition of success by determining the actual numbers, dates, dollar amounts or other specific markers you want to achieve. You will be able to mark incremental successes and celebrate when you’ve reached your ultimate goal. Vague goals produce vague results.
3. Expect and listen to resistance. Whenever you try to exchange and grow, you will undoubtedly experience resistance, fear, and criticism from other people and from yourself. Anticipate this, listen to the concerns and have a strategy to incorporate the valid ones into your plans.
4. Get more opinions than your own about your business idea. Confidence is a huge asset, but it doesn’t replace the need to test your ideas and plans with other people. There is great value in seeking advice from people with more experience, less experience, different backgrounds and various dispositions. Trust your instincts and do some market research.
5. See your life as part of a bigger picture. You are rarely the only one in the world who wants the life you want or desire the dreams you have. Access the wider world of people with your interests and goals and use this network for support, encouragement, and an occasional kick in the pants.
First Published: Jun 30, 2011 5:47 AM CDT