You know how a good driver keeps their eyes on the road ahead? That’s how we need to think about our businesses too—working toward all our immediate and short-term goals while always planning and preparing for the future.
And that means entirely different things for different women business owners. For one, it’s finding her next qualified employees to achieve next-level growth. For another, it’s business succession planning and retirement. For most all of us, it’s still determining how to move forward and possibly rebuild from the challenges of COVID-19.
No matter where you are in your own business journey, there are several things you can do right now to prepare for the road ahead:
- Build a scalable business: If you want to succeed well into the future, you need to build a business that’s scalable. You can put systems in place to easily adjust as your business grows, from process automation to employee recruitment, development and retention strategies.
- Boost your business agility: As you grow, it can be a struggle to make changes if you’re too set in your ways. But if your business is agile—adaptive, efficient and collaborative, those changes can make growing a bit easier.
- Consider access to capital: Think about how you will access the capital you might need to scale and grow your business well ahead of time and do your homework. Is crowdfunding right for you? Or do you prefer a more traditional funding method?
- Focus on customer retention: If you want to have any kind of sustainable success, you need to be able to keep existing customers as well as gain new ones. Begin to solve any customer retention issues you might have by looking at your customer’s needs, ensuring expectations are being met through scheduled conversations, being able to expand the services you provide and showing appreciation for their business.
- Take lessons from other successful business owners: If you want your business to stick around for the long haul, it’s a good idea to take cues from other businesses that have done the same.
That brings me to NAWBO. One of the most incredible things about belonging is that we are all at such different places in our entrepreneurial journeys—from members who are running start-ups from their kitchen tables to those who have far surpassed the $1 million mark.
No matter where you look in your NAWBO chapter, or nationally at an event like this month’s virtual National Women's Business Conference (WBC2020), you are certain to find someone who is walking right beside you down the same road, or is well ahead of you and has already figured out a way to make the path shorter or smoother. I know I’ve personally found this again and again during my years with NAWBO—both in my chapter and as part of the National Board.
So what’s next for you and your business? Whatever it is, I hope you’ll tap into the power and passion of all the amazing NAWBO women and our community of supporters who surround you. I also hope to “see” you next week at WBC2020!