Recognizing our own value and being able to articulate that value to others can be a particularly hard task for women. To be humble is a respectable quality and humility is a necessary trait for any business owner or leader. However, as “mompreneuers”, these personality traits can actually get in our way if we let them.
We are fortunate enough to live in a time where women can choose both career and family. That does not mean that there are still not roadblocks on our route to success though. Setting things like financials and family demands aside, as moms we know that there are always plenty of people that are willing to share their opinion with us as any given moment.
As a mompreneur, it is essential to set your internal compass and steer through perception, opinion and doubt as you drive towards your goals. For moms, I think this can be doubly challenging because anyone who has children is used to putting the needs of others ahead of themselves. Knowing your value however, will always guide you in the right direction.
Before you set out to start your business, regardless of what it is, sit down and make a business plan! Write it down! Ask yourself some very basic questions…
What is the goal of my business?
Don’t get this one confused with other personal life goals. Yes, they often go hand in hand, but don’t muddy the waters by getting to idealistic here. What is the goal of your business? What should your business be accomplishing in order to be successful?
What is the growth trajectory for my business?
Always, always think of your business in terms of growth. This will help you gauge the success of your business goal. Whether you are doing some sort of home product sales, blogging, consulting or aiming for brick and mortar, you need to understand your growth plan. Maybe your goal is simply to just bring in some mad money for yourself outside the family budget. That is OK! Not a thing wrong with that goal. But how much money do you want to come in after 3 months, 6 months, 1 year? That is your growth trajectory and it will help you set milestones and track your goal.
What are you doing differently?
This is a big one. Perhaps one to the most important assets to your business is understanding what makes you stand out from the other guy. Never set out with the mindset that you will not have any competitors. If there were no competition, how would any of us ever truly be successful? Think about what your business is doing differently and OWN IT. Be careful not to be caddy though. This is a problem for women and frankly, I think it hangs us up on the road to success. We should be cheering each other on, not tearing each other down. Focus on how YOU stand out, work diligently and honestly, and your business will be fine.
What will success look like?
We have to learn to measure our success and be OK with failure. Thinking ahead to your end goal and what growth looks like on the way there, we must check in with our business regularly to see if we are hitting each mile marker. If not, be prepared to pump the breaks and dig into what isn’t working.
When I started Raleigh Moms Blog a year ago, things moved really quickly. The opportunity arose and I took it, but I should have stepped back and asked myself these questions before I hit GO. With the help of a friend who was already running a successful business, I did go through this list of questions and create a business plan. Take it from me though, it is much harder to back your way into your business plan, than it is to start out with one from the get go.
Seeking the advice of others is definitely one of things I have gotten right in running a business though (I could make a really long list of mistakes!) Learning from others that have gotten it right is always helpful and you can really expand your knowledge by humbling yourself to learn.
One thing I have gotten right is always looking back on this list of questions and not being afraid to present my business’s value when confronted with adversity. I turn other businesses away all the time for advertising if they are not a good fit for our audience or I do not feel they understand our value. In doing this, I have actually helped my business grow. I know what my goals are, what we need to do to meet them, and how we stand out from our counterparts.
My business met its goals for success in year one. Now, as we enter year two, I am revisiting my list of questions and my business plan. There is always room for improvement. Right now I am starting with that list of mistakes I made in year one.
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- Knowing Your Value | Raleigh Blogger Shares Her Advice - April 12, 2016