One of my sources of inspiration is to see women doing exploits in business; and giving their male counterparts a run for the money. Are you an aspiring woman entrepreneur? Or you are just starting a new business?

Do you want to learn how to start a business from scratch and grow it successfully? Do you want to become a successful business woman (entrepreneur)? Then I will advice you read on as I share some practical insights to becoming a successful woman or entrepreneur.

What does it take to become a successful woman entrepreneur?

This is often the question I get from female entrepreneurs and protégés. These female protégés of mine are excited about going through the entrepreneurial process of building a business; they are prepared for the business challenges ahead but they want know if they will have a fair chance in the business world (a field dominated by men).

Well, in answer to the question above; I will say it takes nothing special to become a success entrepreneur. Regardless of age, gender, race, nationality or religion; the principles for success in entrepreneurship remains the same.

In this article, I will be highlighting some practical steps you can take as a woman to build a successful business. The steps I will be sharing with you have been tested and proven by successful women entrepreneurs such as Anita Roddick, Debbi Fields, Jenny Craig, Arianna Huffington, Oprah Winfrey, Coco Chanel, Estee Lauder, Mary Kay Ash, etc. So if becoming a successful woman entrepreneur is your priority; if building a successful business is your goal, then read on.

10 Steps to Become a Successful Business Woman (Entrepreneur)

1. Believe in yourself

The fundamental key to success in business is self belief and women are naturally known for underestimating their abilities. To succeed in business, you must believe in yourself. This is very important because no one will believe in you and your product or services if you don’t first believe in yourself. No investor will invest with you if you lack self confidence and your employees will not perform at peak capacity because you lack the spirit to inspire them.

In fact, without self belief; no amount of effort on your business will yield positive results. So boost your self belief today; develop the belief that you have something valuable inside of you that the world wants and it will be so.

2. Have a strong mission

Why do you want to start a business? This question may sound casual but it a silent factor that determines whether you will succeed or fail as an entrepreneur. Take a look at the world’s most successful women entrepreneurs and you will see that they all have a strong reason for going into business and that reason became their business mission.

Once again I ask: what is your reason for starting a business? I know I can’t answer this question for you but what I want you to bear in mind is that building a successful business that will stand the test of time begins with the mission.

3. Prepare your mindset

Success in business is highly dependent on the mindset on which that business was started. To become a success woman entrepreneur, you must have the right mindset. You must never look at yourself as being a weaker sex. You must have the mindset to deal with whatever comes your way. Success will never be handed to you on a platter of gold just because you are a woman. You must stick your neck out for it even if it means putting yourself on the line.

4. Be willing to fail

The principles of success can never be side stepped regardless of your gender. This means that to become a success, you must be willing to fail. Business is a risk but its reward is worth the risk. I have observed that the most successful business women are women who acted without giving a damn if they fail. So if you are going to be among the few women who make things happen; then you must be willing to accept failure as part of the process of success.

5. Start a business

Yes, this is actually the thin line that separates’ the great women of enterprise from every other women. Most women dream of being the next Oprah Winfrey, Mary Kay or Coco Chanel but only few will ever dare to take the first step. You can never be a successful woman entrepreneur by just day dreaming, you need to go out there and start something.

Stop sitting on your ideas; don’t let the lack of resources stop you. Take the leap of faith and start with what you have, you will find the remaining resources you need along the way.

6. Increase your business skills

Some entrepreneurs were born great; others made themselves great through hard work. If a business empire wasn’t handed over to you by your family; then you have to make yours and to achieve that, you will need to develop the required entrepreneurial skills. What do you do in your spare time?

The answer to this question will determine if you will succeed or not. Instead of watching a movie or shopping in your spare time, why don’t you attend a seminar or read a business book. You will never know the situation you will find yourself tomorrow and the knowledge you acquired in your spare time may turn out to be a life saver.

7. Understand your business to the core

How well do you understand your business? Are you running a business you are passionate about? Or you jumped into an industry for the money? Regardless of the type of business you are engaged in; make sure you understand the ins and outs of it. Never jump into an industry because of the sweet tales you were told. If things do not go as planned, your enthusiasm may fizzle out and once that happens; your business is as good as dead.

8. Manage your time effectively

One of the major business challenges women entrepreneurs face is time constraint. Business women are usually strapped for time because of the multiple responsibilities they face. Women entrepreneurs must attend to their business needs while still raising a family and taking care of their personal needs. I mean it’s quite challenging. If you are ever going to overcome this challenge and become a successful business woman, then you must master the act of delegation.

9. Take care of your customers

I believe women take care of their customers more than their male counterparts. Remember that your customers are the reason you are in business. No woman ever became successful in business without the loyalty of her customers. So never look down on your customers.

10. Stick to the process

Of all the points I made here, starting a business is the most important; sticking to the process is next. Statistics show that 90% of all businesses started fail in their first ten years. The reason is because not all who start a business have the gut to stick to the process. The entrepreneurial process of building a successful business is challenging; you will have to bounce from one problem to another without losing your enthusiasm. If you can do this, then you will end up a successful business woman.

As a final note, I want to drop a hint that building a successful business or becoming a successful business woman is not an overnight venture; it’s a process that requires dedication. If you can persevere and solve business problems as they arise, you will hit the pot of gold.

Ajaero Tony Martins