Black Female Business Experts Talk Success for Women Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurship

’50 Billion Dollar Boss’ Authors Talk Diversity, Black Women Entrepreneurs and Success

How important are strategic partnerships for a small business?
Strategic partnerships should add value and be mutually beneficial. Just because you are a small business, don’t think that you’re unable to add value to a large organization. In order to seek and forge strategic partnerships, you should:

– Choose partnerships that create value
– Study the industry . . . yours and your potential partner’s
– Leverage partnerships to expand your reach and lower costs and
– Use your network. See who is looking for expertise and position yourself to provide that service

There seems to be more networking events for women in business, yet, people still struggle with this. How can they leverage this knowledge?
Managing and cultivating relationships can be challenging. To create a network to help grow your net worth, you should:

– Strive to build relationships that are more than just transactional
– Stay engaged and in touch with your network
– Understand that every kick can be a boost
– Be consistent and deliberate when using social media
– Be more interested than interesting
– Pay attention to industry trends, and know what is now but focus on what is next
– Be clear about exactly how wealth creation works and where the money is

Funding is a challenge for everyone. How can women find the best funding solutions for their businesses?
I get asked this all the time. There is no doubt that finances are essential to start and grow a business. However, even still, I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all strategy that works for every business. There are many ways that someone can get enough funding to finance their dream venture:

– Create a plan outlining your long-term goals and objectives to determine the right financing option
– Focus on maximizing sales rather than incurring debt
– Consider alternative funding options and
– Consider collaboration or partnership to achieve goals (a percentage of something is better than 100% of nothing) and
– Do not be afraid or intimidated to attract and pursue big investors. Sometimes a small business specializing in specific area is just what they are looking for

What should established women-owned businesses think about when they are looking to scale and grow their businesses?
First, understand that growing a business is a process and will not happen overnight. If they have maximized growth at their present state and are ready to take their business to the next phase, they should:

– Ask for help (sounds simple, but no one likes to feel needy)
– Step out of their comfort zone (probably one of the hardest things to do)
– Take advantage of unexpected events and leverage that 3-min pitch
– Seek and leverage media exposure; social media puts this in your hands and
– Remember, all opportunities are not good opportunities for you

Where should one look if they are thinking about starting a business, but not quite sure what they want to do?
Think about non-traditional and “out of the norm” opportunities for women such as construction or construction related trades. Also, consider growth industries such as technology or even opportunities for corporate intrapreneurship if you are not quite ready to make the leap into owning a business full-time. Not all industries are “sexy” but a business that is making money is very sexy!

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