Today’s women are making history and changing the face of the workplace. Women own 40 percent of U.S. businesses and the number is growing at a rate that is two times faster than businesses as a whole. Women also own or operate around 30 percent of all private businesses globally. The numbers don’t lie – women are paving the way to greater business triumphs each and every day.
As women start and grow successful businesses, even multi-million dollar enterprises, what sets these women apart from others? Why do women so often fall behind in business while others succeed? What can women who aspire to grow their own successful business learn from the greatest entrepreneurs?
Here are five characteristics that describe and define the most successful female business owners that all entrepreneurs should note:
- They define success in their own terms. It’s very easy to let others define success for you. Women are sensitive to pressure from their well-intended friends, spouse, and other family members – so it’s easy to fall into the trap of embracing existing definitions of success. But success can differ from the traditional definitions. Listen to what others tell you about success; they may see strengths in you that you have yet to identify. However, always remember that you must take control of your own future and define success on your own terms.
- Build a successful culture. Create an environment that reflects your values. If you have a brick and mortar building, post your goals and visions where your employees can see them every day. The most successful women create businesses that are characterized by diversity and inclusiveness, coaching and individual development, teamwork and inspiring others. Aim to structure your business so each member of the team feels successful, both personally and professionally. This leads to a successful organization because it reflects each individual’s success.
- Set high goals. Women who reach great levels of success do so because they realize it’s essential to set the right goals for your business – and they set them high. Every time they reach a goal, they set a new one that’s higher – they truly reach for the stars. Research by the Center for Women’s Business Research tells us that the only true predictor of whether a women business owner will expand her business has nothing to do with how long she’s run the business or the size of the business or the industry. Instead, it is her goal for business growth that makes it happen.
- Rely on various support networks. One of the many secrets about women in business is that those who reach new levels of success often join a greater variety of networks. Recognize the different value organizations provide for you and your business. Move outside of your comfort zone and join associations where you can meet new prospects, expand your business relationships, improve your communication, and fine tune your business skills.
- Treat your time and energy as limited resources. Value your time and energy – they’re resources that are scarce and crucial like any part of your business. The higher levels of success you reach, the more others seek your guidance and assistance. While flattering, it is hard to turn down aspiring business owners, community leaders and customers. Just remember that you need to set boundaries based on your goals and values. Your time and energy aren’t infinite; take into account the demands of your business and personal life and set your priorities with care.
If you are a women aspiring to lead a successful enterprise, you can do it. Never abandon your values, prioritize your time and treat yourself right and you can surpass your goals and find great success.
How have you found great success as a female business owner? What characteristics do you possess that you believe have helped get you there?