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Entrepreneurs – 3 Things You Must Know to Get Ahead in Business

Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

Last week, Mara and I had the privilege of spending 3 days at the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs E-Series. E-Series is a once-a-year intensive business program designed to help female entrepreneurs grow their empire. We met lady bosses from all walks of life in various stages of business development. Experts from near and far conducted workshops on almost every area of operation we needed to know about including sales and marketing, financials, law, HR and branding.

We were given a ton of information by business gurus, but these 3 points in particular stuck out to me and I wanted to share them with you:

Know Your Key Message

First impressions count…and they’re sticky, so experts recommend you have a few succinct and well-rehearsed lines your brain can easily access when the opportunity arises to introduce yourself and your biz. Most entrepreneurs are probably already familiar the concept of the elevator pitch. We refined, tweaked and repeated them so often, I was saying mine in my sleep by the end of the 3rd day! I’m glad though, because you never know who, where or when you might meet your next client. It could be at a cocktail party, a networking lunch or yes, even in an elevator. Pre-planning some key points means you will never miss the chance to share who you are and what you do, even if you only have 30 seconds. Be confident and own it.

 

Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

Mara delivering her elevator pitch like a pro. Photo credit Dr. Julie Durnan

 

Brand Congruence

Every touch point with your consumer needs to be consistent with your brand message. Everything from how you answer the phone, to the look of your business card and feel of your website all need to be congruent. Each contact point should reinforce this same message and tone.

This rule includes your personal image and clothing. Whether you are trying to convey organization and professionalism or fun and adventure, be consistent. Who you say you are and how you appear must be in sync. If not, you create incongruity and confusion for your customer. A confused customer is not a buying customer.

Use your clothing to convey the tone of your business. Think about the main things you want people to believe about you and your brand before they even hear you speak.

For example, if the tone of your home decor store is modern and elegant, your wardrobe should also be modern and elegant. Think clean lines and luxurious looking fabrics. Is your business cutting edge? Your style should say fresh, contemporary and fashion forward. Consider bold colour blocking, funky shoes or architectural jewelry.

Entrepreneurs talking to photographer

Speaking with one of the photographers at The Collective You. We were treated to complimentary headshots.

 

Outsource the Things You’re Not Good At

Outsource what you’re not good at so you can spend time doing the things you ARE good at (aka the stuff you love). Sure, you can learn how to do just about anything if you watch enough YouTube videos, but that can be time-consuming and not everyone on YouTube is an expert.

When Mara and I decided to rebrand our business back in 2015, we had a heck-of-a- time trying to come up with a name that reflected the new direction we were taking. We had been spinning our wheels for months before we finally agreed it was time to outsource the job to a specialist who enjoyed helping businesses to rebrand and was good at it. Hiring a pro who could get this off our plate so we could get back to the work WE enjoy and are good at was one of the best decisions we made. (Thank you Erica Jane Consulting!) We are now looking to hire a bookkeeper. I would rather stab myself with a fork than do bookkeeping, but apparently there are people out there who actually like number crunching.

 

Dee and Mara strike a pose

Striking a pose for The Collective You Photography

 

Successful entrepreneurs know magic can happen when planning and opportunity meet.

If putting together a professional wardrobe consistent with your brand image is taking up your time and energy, then maybe it’s time to outsource it to someone who enjoys it and is good at it. We understand and we’re here for you.

If you are hate shopping, but know you NEED to look good, The Joy of Style can make it a more joyful experience for you. Contact us today and let’s get you started on the road to success.

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