Last night at the Centre we were treated to some real-life stories about how women entrepreneurs from different backgrounds are working to make their businesses a success.
Our panel consisted of Sara Hutniak from Sweatmarks, Nancy Vardalos Ginakes from Safe 2 Go Child Safety Harness and Pam Kirkpatrick of cake-ology fame. Each entrepreneur is at a different stage in her business, has a different view about her desired outcomes and has learned different lessons as she built and is building her enterprise.
Some of the valuable ‘lessons learned’:
It is important to have sufficient capital at start up to take you through the ups and downs of each business cycle.
Put processes and systems in place in order to manage business flow as well as to keep you focused on your core areas of competency so that you are better able to develop revenue.
Know what your ultimate goal is so that you can make better decisions about how to balance your business with your personal obligations.
Build your brand through concentration on customer relationships not just on logos and marketing materials.
Recognize the power of social marketing, but apply it consistently and in a way that is relevant to your target market.
Plan, plan, plan before you spend your money or take off on the wrong foot.
Sara provided the participants with a list of books that she has found to be valuable in the development of her business:
The E-Myth by Michael Gerber
Cash Flow Quadrant by Robert T. Kiyosaki
Personality Plus by Florence Littauer
The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
Many thanks to our panelists for taking the time to share their visions and their stories with us. And thanks to our appreciative audience who came out on a cold and snowy night to learn something that we hope will make a big positive difference in their own entrepreneurial stories.