How to put your “feminine” strengths for the benefit of your own business or project? Let’s tell.
Whether it is really appropriate to divide business into purely masculine or purely feminine is a big question, because the very basis of the concept of entrepreneurship is based on general principles, without gender distinction. If a woman decides to start her own business, she must be ready to be perceived as an equal partner. Even in a skirt and heels. However, there is another extreme of female entrepreneurship – when a business owner is trying with all her might to make herself a “man”, taking over traditional “male” roles.
Meanwhile, it is much more useful sometimes just to be yourself – and not to be ashamed of your “female” leadership style, using purely female skills and abilities for effective management and quality relationships with clients and competitors. What are these skills and, most importantly, how to apply them – says Mary Jenkyns, a mentor for launching and developing women’s projects.
Networking: Communicate More Often
It is no coincidence that the concept of networking is gaining more and more popularity – not only in the field of ordinary life situations, but also in business. The principle is simple: the more people know you and treat you well, the more likely they are to become interested in your case.
What to do? You can make, for example, a list of people who are able to help you and your business – these can be potential partners, mentors or mentors, or contractors with a favorable offer for you. However, it’s important to remember that finding the people you need isn’t enough. It is also important to be able to get to know them correctly, so you have to prepare: think over topics for conversation, decide on questions that you would like to ask, etc.
Industry events can also be a good resource for acquiring useful contacts. Divide the companies you are interested in participating in a particular forum into three columns: organizers, partners, and helpful participants. For each of these blocks, prepare a short speech about yourself. Imagine that you have two minutes to make an acquaintance. You need to summarize who you are and what you do. Option: “I sell pet food.” Simple and straightforward. But compare it to “I am committed to improving the quality of life of pets through the sale of the latest German food.” Big difference, right?
Personal Brand: Shine in Business
Even if your product is the most interesting and useful in the world, the chances that your ingenious, but unknown project will be interested just like that, are close to zero, if you, as a leader and brand representative, do not attract potential customers and partners. Experts came to this truth a long time ago and introduced a new concept – a personal brand. In other words, first you try to interest others in yourself and only then in your work.
How do I create it? Two easy steps:
- First, revise what you already have: personal page, blogs, video content. Look at yourself from the outside and compare all the information with what you are currently creating in business.
- Make a detailed brand map, which will include work on the appearance (styling, photo shoots, working with stylists), social media (bringing all pages to a single standard, developing page designs, writing detailed content plans), promotion (SMM, targeting, detailed analysis of the target audience) and partnerships with influential brands in your niche. This work may have already begun by you earlier and you just need to bring it to a common denominator. For example, you can take famous people in your field and see what and how they promote, what they write about, how they look.
“Sixth Sense” on guard of business
It is believed that business is, first of all, scrupulous calculations, numbers and a strategy, in which there is hardly a place for banal intuition. Meanwhile, many leaders, and among them a large percentage of women, when making important decisions prefer to rely not only on dry facts, but also on the “sixth sense”. It will tell you whether it is worth signing a contract with this particular partner, and not with any other, and why you should try your hand at a new niche this month, and not next.
According to the International Business report by Grant Thornton, Russia is the leader in the number of women leaders. And one of the reasons for such numbers is that under the female leadership, business simply shows great results. I don’t think it’s worth writing it off only on instinct, however, if men often think in the category “goal – the shortest path to it”, then we have a little more complicated “goal – possible obstacles – different ways – workarounds – new goals”. A woman often thinks more globally. And a thrifty business woman will never store “eggs” in one basket, but will distribute them in different places. Trust yourself!
Improve Your Qualifications
However, relying on your intuition always and everywhere is also not the wisest approach. After all, it is no coincidence that business and business administration have long been independent subjects, studied by entire departments at universities and specialized schools. A competent businessman is like a grandmaster: in order to achieve success, he must be able to analyze and, most importantly, predict in order to avoid unforeseen situations in the domestic and world markets.
What to do? Spend time learning. Despite the fact that according to statistics, the percentage of women in MBA is about 35%, this is an excellent platform for pumping your skills. Also, good results are obtained by participation in various business associations – for example, UN Women, Business and Professional Women’s Foundation and others.
Tell the World Your Story
As a rule, women have excellent command of the word and know how to be good storytellers. If you are lucky enough to own this skill, use it to promote your business. Tell about yourself and your business on social media and media. Let it be a story of success, ups and downs, dramas and happy happy ends. Angela Arends, Apple’s vice president of retail, once said: “As the world becomes more complex and connected at the same time, stories are gaining tremendous power to educate, connect and inspire. I believe that with the tools of the digital age armed, the future of storytelling can be even richer and more significant than its past. ”(See also:“ Angela Arends: How Burberry CEO Became Apple Senior Vice President ”).
You can start a fashionable vlog on Youtube or create a video business card. In any case, do not think that your story will be boring to listen to. Tell it the way you would for your daughter. Instructive and colorful.
Women are much more empathic and empathic with other people than men. This is due to certain hormones that our brains release on a regular basis. Use these skills in business. Help people. Don’t just sell them a product or service, but come up with an ultimate goal. Solve customer pain, think about what you can do for the world through your product.
The experience of world leaders shows that the higher the social orientation of the business, the higher the sales. McDonald’s regularly organizes charity events: when buying fries, for example, the funds go to help children with cancer. Walmart runs promotions every year on Christmas Eve to buy gifts for the homeless. Use your love for people, help – and you will find a response in the hearts of clients (read also: “Charity in the XXI century: sincere help or a colorful show?”).