More women are moving their home businesses to real corporate offices every year. Statistics from American Express OPEN counted more than 11 million female-owned firms that employ 9 million people and generate $1.7 trillion in sales in 2017. This kind of success is no accident. The skills you learn in your kitchen-counter startup can serve you very well in the future.
Keep Inventory Lean
You know what happens when you overstock on sale items at the grocery store. At some point in the distant future, you will still have dozens of boxes of cereal taking up an entire pantry shelf. You now realize that you overestimated how much your kids would eat it after a new cereal with better treats was introduced in the market.
Lesson learned; lean inventory begins with lean manufacturing and purchasing. By keeping lean inventories, you may lose a few cents per item by manufacturing or buying a lower quantity, but you will, in turn, be more agile. When markets shift, you’ll be able to take advantage of opportunities.
Hire Staff for Performance and Adaptability
One of the challenges facing female entrepreneurs is hiring the right people and not just social acquaintances. Women are socialized from childhood to make friends and to keep them. BFFs may be socially successful when we’re children, but they can badly hurt a new business if you’re not careful. Relationships between owner and employees are quite different than two lifelong friends. So before you hire one of your friends or family members, make sure you weigh the pros and cons.
Don’t Skimp on Technology
All those bells and whistles and all those terms you don’t quite understand can be confusing. If you don’t know what the software does, how are you going to know whether it’s a worthwhile investment or another expensive version of generic cereal? If you aren’t a tech guru, don’t let that stop you from wisely investing in the right software and hardware. Hire the right person or firm to get to know your business and your needs and then to give you advice that will be worth many more times the money invested.
Moving from the den or bedroom to the boardroom in a high-rise building is intimidating. By focusing on the skills and abilities that got you this far, you have a great chance of making your business a real success. Every year that you not only stay in business but that you grow your brand means you’re a step closer to real, long-term success.