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  • Writer's pictureAshleigh Harvey

12 Tips for New Entrepreneurs, From Bossladies

Updated: May 21, 2021

I’ve started a Facebook group called Make a Song and Dance: Female Business Owners RISING. RISING in caps, just in case people are unsure of the message of the group. We are RISING, mmmmkay? You should think about joining the group. It’s pretty rad. It’s also small, which in the noise of Facebook makes for welcome relief. We actually talk to each other. That's how come I'm able to give you these 12 tips for new entrepreneurs from old entrepreneurs. Boom to that. That's what I say.

We don’t just talk about business either. We talk about lipstick colours, superheroes, and cute boys surfing in the waves. We are not here to smile. We are not here to earn less than men. We are not here to dress how anyone else wants us to. We are not here to make ANYONE feel comfortable.

We are here to rise.

It’s a mix of women from all over the world, who have either been running their own businesses for a really long time, or they’ve just started. So, there are lots of questions, but there’s also a lot of advice being given.

Top advice from top women

I wanted to put together some of the advice that I’ve gathered from these total bosses over the last little while. Yup. that’s right. 12 tips for new entrepreneurs. It comes from smart, fierce, beautiful women whom I know personally. They’re the most epic group of kweens you could meet. So, if you’ve just started on your entrepreneurial journey and you need some inspo, here you go:

1. Don’t get into debt

This may sound obvious, but remember not to over-invest in stuff you don’t need. Pace yourself. Buy what you need and try to avoid using the good old credit card. Get going and grow your spending when your earnings grow.

2. Pay yourself a salary from the start.

This is a really important one because it's the only way you’ll know how much profit your business is making ... and you’ll avoid working for nothing!

3. Be a kickass employer

If you employ people, be the boss you would have appreciated. Staff-friendly contracts attract and retain great people!

4. Push yourself

If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Once you have mastered a situation or a skill, push yourself to the next project, level, client, organisation, or country.

5. Be a leader

Show leadership to younger colleagues and employees when people try to treat you like badly. Modeling behavioural boundaries is a clear gift to yourself, but also to those who look to you to help build a better future workplace.

6. Treat doubt as your friend

Self-doubt in business can be crippling (mine can be debilitating some weeks) but it can also be a superpower. The doubtful are keen observers, fast learners, and empathic colleagues.

7. Find a mentor

THIS. Find someone you can learn from. Someone you can get advice from. Someone who will speak to you honestly about the choices you’re making. A mentor has been there, done that, and got the clients.

8. Use accounting software from day one

Oh, accounting. It’s a must. For so many reasons. You do not want to start your business and then realise you have a whole ton of tax to pay, but you’ve spent it all. You don’t want to spend time on all that admin and paperwork. Accounting software will make your life simpler and easier. That’s what you need to scale your business. Here’s an example of the kind of software you can use.

9. Don’t quit.

Enough said. No, really. You’ve come too far and worked too hard. Take a break. Breathe. Get away. But don’t quit. You’ll have me to answer to.

10. Do a GOOD sales course.

It's key. Wish someone had told me that. It can take six months to grow a lead into a client, so you should continually be working on new clients.

11. Don't put all your eggs in one basket!

Ideally, as an entrepreneur, you should have several sources of income. That can take many forms. You could create an online course. You could have an e-book that you sell. Perhaps you sell yourself as a keynote speaker. Maybe you have a book. The point is, don’t limit yourself. If you’re a service provider, make sure you have more than one client. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you need to diversify whenever possible.

*From the writer: With that in mind, you might want to take a look at the Monetise You Summit: 10 Ways to $10K Months. Hosted by Kiwi entrepreneur, Natalie Sisson, the digital nomad OG and monetisation coach, it features 10 incredible female speakers from all over the world who have monetised their knowledge, skills, and personalities. There’s nothing stopping you from doing the same if you know how. Grab your free ticket here.

12. Know your brand voice

This one is from yours truly. Your brand voice is the foundation of your business. It tells the world who you are, and why you do what you do. It signifies why people should come to you for their service or product, and not go to the competition. When you nail your brand voice, magic happens. So, with that in mind, I've put together this cheeky 15-page essential cheat sheet, so you can smash your authentic brand voice, like it's your job.

Who are these incredible women?

Thank you to the kweens who made this post possible. You are all totally fantastic and I am honoured to know you.

If you, dear reader, want to work with some talented, fine she-wolves of spark, best you check out these women:

Judy Ditchfield is a Business Role Player, Facilitator and Trainer, Thespian

Beverly Cooke-Tonnison runs a tuition centre offering in-centre and Zoom tuition, academic coaching & study skills workshops. All academic subjects up to Grade 12; DOE (Caps), IEB and CAIE (IGCSE, AS and A level). Cellfield Reading Treatment licensee.

Tarryn Giebelmann is a copywriter who helps tech companies ditch the jargon and communicate clearly.

Jessica van Onselen is the CEO of BrightGuide Africa, a consultancy that focuses on strategic communications in Africa.

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