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Million Dollar Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs with Struggling Businesses

May 20, 2013

Business Advice for Women Entrepreneurs

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I’ve been fortunate in my entrepreneurial career to have other women entrepreneurs willing to share their business advice with me. Last week, three women who run million dollar companies shared some of the following advice with other women business owners struggling with running their companies. The information was so important, I wanted to share it with our friends connected to our blog today. I hope it brings you some wisdom, advice and inspiration to keep running your companies.

A special thank you to Theresa Slater of Empire Interpreting Service, JoBeth Dellinger of Artist Pianos, Eileen Brophy of Brophy Services and Joan Powers of the Small Business Development Center for their time and wisdom.

Wisdom from Theresa Slater, Empire Interpreting Service

Don’t become complacent if your business is doing really well. It’s important to remain diligent through profitable corporate times so you don’t overspend and expand to quickly.

Continue to ask yourself these questions:

1. Is there still a market for my business?
2. Is running my business fun for me anymore or has it become extremely difficult to enjoy?
3. Am I making a profit each year?

Warning signs that your business is in trouble:

1. The business is open and operating with credit cards.
2. You stop paying taxes to run your business.
3. You take out a second mortgage on your house to keep the business afloat.
4. You are becoming emotionally or physically depressed
5. You go to loan sharks.

Wisdom from Eileen Brophy, Brophy Services

1. Ask for help when you need it! Consider joining groups like the SBA’s Mentor/Protégé program, Centerstate CEO’s Excecutive Dialog, or organizations like Women TIES to be surrounded by other business owners. “Reach out to everyone and anyone to help you be more successful.”

2. You must look at your Profit and Loss statements to keep your company healthy.

3. Seek a line of credit from a bank before you need one so you have access to cash when you might need it.

4. Consider hiring an Executive Coach (and Women TIES has a lot of them) to help you plan and lead your company.

5. Find your profit holes – these are small expenses within your business that when added up can make you less profitable. You’ll find them in your Profit and Loss Statements.

Wisdom from Jo Beth Dellinger, Artist Pianos

We all have “attics” – places in our businesses that aren’t going well. In real life, we hide our bad, old or useless items in the attic because they aren’t doing us any good anymore. Make sure you analyze what part of your business feels like it should be up in the attic.

It is always easier to begin something, then to end something, but in business endings are essential for ultimate success. Learn to embrace ending a bad business relationship, getting rid of a unprofitable portion of your company, or letting go employees you don’t need.

One part of your business will suffer when you work too hard on another part of your business too long trying to keep it afloat. Don’t lose sight of the ripple effects of waiting too long to make a hard decision because it could affect another successful part of your company at the same time.

Wisdom from Joan Powers, Small Business Development Center at OCC

Clients who have survived hard times have done these things well:

1. They watched every single penny they spent.

2. They went back to guerrilla marketing like face-to-face appointments and sales calls to strengthen their revenue.

3. They analyzed their Profit and Loss Statements to make sure they were profitable.

4. They did a business plan and were persistent about seeking funding from banks. If they were turned down for a loan, they kept tweaking their plan and returned to the bank repeatedly until they received the loan they needed to grow.

Joan also stated it is essential to have a 3 year business plan – with the most important part of it being the marketing and financial portions. Find time to update your plan or create one if you don’t have one already. The SBDC at OCC can help you put one together at charge.

For more information about these women and their companies, go to the Women TIES directory at this link.

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