Last week I had the pleasure of presenting to a networking group in Bolton who have been meeting monthly for some time now and growing their businesses through a sharing of common experience.
This group was a Ladies Lunch and Learn Networking Group. A group made up entirely of women entrepreneurs, hence my comment about sharing a common experience. I was asked to present “Tune Your Business Radio” which speaks to the key areas to fine tune at the beginning of the year to ensure your business gains a strong foothold on its way to building success.
My preparation for the presentation was a little different than usual, as I was the first male to ever step foot into the realm of this female networking group.
I have been presenting workshops and facilitating for over 20 years now in many different industries including construction, nursing, not for profits, small and large business and some government agencies. All of these clients have their own diverse issues, as would a core of women business owners. I have been fortunate enough to work with Momstown.ca, which is a group of exciting momtreprenuers across Canada, so I understood some of the issues around entrepreneurship and motherhood, and the time and resources it takes to do both successfully. However I wanted to do a bit more research.
A couple of issues that I chose to focus on included the allocation of time to the family and the business, and the lack of mentoring resources for professional women entrepreneurs. It is critical that sound business practices and understanding the threats and opportunities that exist within the business are used in guiding the business along the bumpy road we have been on for the last few years. Sometimes it is all too easy for any of us to just throw in the towel and give up our entrepreneurial dreams to take an easier route to financial stability. As the old adage goes, working smarter is the key. Creating dialogue with clients using the variety of mediums out there will give you client-centric feedback as opposed to rumours and educated guesses. Understanding and recognizing true business potential at the start of the year makes the road to success much smoother, utilize facts to avoid basing goals on false potential. Understanding the position your business occupies in the client’s mind, and using potential based planning methodology will take hours off your weekly work routine, hours that can be spent with family.
As far as the mentoring and networking resources go, I am glad to see that there are many groups like the one I spoke at springing up in every city and town. I believe it is crucial for women to have support mechanisms from other women in business. Check in your areas for groups such as Boards of Trade or Chamber of Commerce women’s groups, and Zonta, however don’t restrict yourself to women only networking or business groups. There are many business issues that are common to every business, and being aware and informed about those issues will guide your future planning. Support, understanding and affirmation, are required to be successful, combine that with great mentorship and we all have the tools for business building.