Female entrepreneurs are taking the world by storm. From Arianna Huffington to Sheryl Sandberg and Beyoncé, there are dozens of smart, empowered women to model yourself after. Each of these women made their own way and carved out success in their respective industries, but they all have a few things in common. Follow this guide for tips on how to become a successful businesswoman and leave your competition in the dust.
Set targeted OKRs each month.
If you want to succeed in business, you need clear goals. One tip for success is to have both micro and macro goals to help you move forward. For example, if your macro goal is to acquire 100 clients within a year, you can set a micro goal to acquire 10 new clients each month. This will help you set achievable targets that you can hit over time.
Take time to define your OKR’s (objectives and key results). You may even want to pick up an app or software system like Workboard to track the goals and the objectives you set for your team. This way everyone is on the same page. Workboard’s OKR system allows everyone to stay on top of their team objective and the overall company strategy, even if everyone is working remotely. Having a good OKR means everyone knows what the top priority is, and, when performance reviews roll around, it helps you give feedback easily based on data metrics on an individual level. When everyone knows the company objectives because they’re all connected to the OKR system, you can easily see who is the professionals are. All of this will get you that much closer to your business goals.
Dress for the job you want.
If you want to be a boss, you need to look like one. Update your business attire with professional wear to win over board members or investors, along with casual outfits you can wear around the office. Mark Zuckerberg might rock a hoodie and jeans, but that doesn’t mean you need to. Womens business casual attire is flexible while also professional. With the right blouse and blazer combo, you can turn heads and let people know you are in charge. Office attire can be tricky, but just make sure you’re wearing something that you feel comfortable with, whether that means scarves and cardigans or a high neckline and a pencil skirt. Everyone brings their own identity to the term business casual, so just try to think of a good option that make you feel empowered when you stride into the office. Sometimes it’s enough just to add a piece of jewelry or a pop of color. Whatever helps you to feel that you can get any ambitious goal you want.
Build other women up.
No woman is an island, and you will likely need to network and form partnerships with other entrepreneurs as you get your business going. Take time to support other women-owned businesses and offer help to other budding companies when you can.
“We need to reverse the stereotype that women don’t support other women,” Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient, writes at Forbes. “There is research that shows women in particular benefit from collaboration over competition.”
This can be as simple as letting a college student shadow you for a day or using your influence to promote a business you believe in. When women work together, other brands will support you, too.
Practice a healthy work-life balance.
Another misconception that businesswomen face is that they need to work tirelessly in order to get ahead. The reality is that a healthy work-life balance will keep you sharp and prevent burnout. In fact, studies have found that 90% of employees who take regular lunch breaks are more productive when they return to work.
Don’t work through lunch with a wilting salad on your desk and your email account open. Go for a walk, eat a hot meal with your team and relax. You can return to your desk ready to solve the afternoon’s problems.
Never stop learning.
Even if you think you are an expert in your industry, there is always something new to learn. Dedicate at least an hour each week to advancing your knowledge-base. This could mean attending a webinar or lunch-and-learn, or spending a few minutes reading industry blogs and catching up on relevant news. Successful entrepreneurs are always hungry to learn more and expand their skillsets.
If possible, try to make your business education diverse as well. Learn about the different aspects of marketing, accounting and human resources to better run your business.
Many people think you need to be serious and cutthroat to succeed in the business world. In reality, you need balance. Pair your favorite blazer with jeans and cute sandals. Take a vacation after a particularly busy month. By setting realistic goals and caring for yourself, you can move your brand forward.