Tag Archives: woman-owned business

3 Women Entrepreneurs Offer Advice: Know Your Stuff. Persevere. Get Help.

women entrepreneurs

Photo by KROMKRATHOG

Today’s Times-Pacayune (New Orleans) tells the stories of successful women entrepreneurs who overcame financial and gender barriers to build successful businesses in oil and gas staffing, event planning and mortgage lending.

JENNIFER JEANSONNE, CEO AND OWNER OF EAGLE CONSULTING

Jennifer Jeansonne led her company through the stringent process of becoming a Certified Woman-Owned Business, a designation that opens doors to more opportunities. Eagle Consulting matches oil and gas companies with project management and engineering consultants. Because the oil and gas industry traditionally is a “man’s world,” Ms. Jeansonne faces gender discrimination in getting new clients.

“Jeansonne recalls approaching a potential customer with a business pitch at an industry conference shortly after taking over Eagle Consulting in 2005. The executive heard her out and smiled before launching into a rapid description of his company’s needs peppered with complex industry jargon and acronyms. Jeansonne said the man was taken aback when she not only understood the lingo, but went on to explain how Eagle Consulting could help. ‘It was a little test, but I got past the test,’ Jeansonne said. ‘Then he was totally open to talking to me.'”

“Attitude is everything, right?” Jeansonne said. “When people underestimate you that’s when you can really impress them because they don’t expect it.”

PATRICIA HIGHTOWER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, BAYOU EQUITY MORTGAGE

Ms. Hightower saw a need for low-income mortgages and other specialty financing, but couldn’t find training.  She said, “”I basically studied, took the required tests and had to teach myself.”

 “One of her biggest challenges has been learning when to stop handling day-to-day tasks and start thinking of long-term goals for the company, though she said she’s getting better at it.

“I think that women have a hard time thinking of themselves as the boss or as the CEO,” Hightower said. “When you don’t think of yourself as the CEO sometimes you wind up multitasking and doing way more than a man would do because he would delegate more.”

DIANE LYONS, FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT OF ACCENT ON ARRANGEMENTS

Mrs. Lyons saw a lack of planning services for New Orleans’ convention and meeting venues. She quit her teaching job and used the equity in her home to finance her startup.

She emphasizes the importance of not trying to go it alone.

Lyons said it took her two years to realize she couldn’t do everything on her own and needed to hire help. Her first hires taught her the value of outside input, she said.

[She] said it’s easy for women to keep any problems they have close to the chest because most have faced some sort of skepticism about whether they can actually run a business.

Lyons said it’s important to find a non-competing peer to talk to about problems, even financial ones.

“Don’t be afraid to fail, just don’t lock everything you’ve got into that failure,” Lyons said.

There’s more good information in the article, plus you can “meet” them in the video at the link below.

Women in business: When did you know you were an entrepreneur?

Until later …

Toni

 

Wednesday Woman: Is Your Repeat Business Holding Up Like a Stick-On Bra?

wednesday womanI always enjoy the work of Natalie MacNeil and She Takes on the World, and this video of hers really takes the cake! She’s today’s Wednesday Woman.

The title, of course, is the eye-catcher, but there’s some meat in here, too. If you want some good tips on how to keep your customers and clients coming back, take a look.

 

Thanks, Natalie!

Until later …

Toni

Meet and Eat? Boring. Meet and Treat Your Feet!

Pedicure

The entrepreneur mind knows no bounds. When Ruth Shelling, founder of Rue Sinclair Media in New York, wants to meet to talk business with women, she doesn’t just invite them to lunch. She arranges brainstorming sessions at a nail salon, where women enjoy getting their feet pampered while they network. According to Entrepreneur.com, these sessions have helped her close multi-million dollar deals.

Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I think this is a great idea! I can see this being done by all kinds of women’s groups, not just businesswomen.

Nail salon owners could add value to their businesses by partnering with a deli to offer private “Eat and Treat Your Feet” sessions for women on their lunch hour. Think this is a viable idea? Let me know in the comments.

Ruth Shelling, you get my Wednesday Woman Award this week!

Until next time …

Toni

Smash the Imposter Syndrome!

imposter

Photo by Frank Kovalchek on Flickr

Do you ever feel like an imposter? There have been times when I have, even when I knew I was capable and knowledgeable.

I recently discovered the uplifting, inspiring website for women entrepreneurs, She Takes on the World by Natalie MacNeil. Natalie is an entrepreneur, author, teacher and speaker. Her website has been listed by Forbes on their “Top 10 Websites for Entrepreneurial Women.”

If you’ve ever held back from going after a fabulous job or starting the business of your dreams because you feared people would find out you’re not as great as you seem, you’re not alone! Watch this.

The Imposter Syndrome and Women Entrepreneurs

Let’s all smash the Imposter Syndrome and get on with being successful, shall we?

Until next time …
Toni

Wednesday Women: Cookies to Chemicals

Confidence LevelEach Wednesday, we focus on woman-owned businesses — starting one, building one, success stories, and everything in between.

Women have been entrepreneurs for ages, long before the word “entrepreneur” came into common use. All over the world women have been making and selling goods or providing various services in village and city marketplaces for many, many years.  Because our culture and tradition defines the primary role of a woman as a mother and nurturer, and the primary role of a man as a breadwinner and businessman, many women are hesitant to pursue their dreams of business ownership.

In a 2012 Forbes article titled “Entrepreneurship Is The New Women’s Movement,” Natalie MacNeil wrote: “Women will create over half of the 9.72 million new small business jobs expected to be created by 2018 and more and more are doing this from home offices across the country.”

In 1977, Debbi Fields had a passion to own a business selling high quality chocolate chip cookies. Finding financing to open a shop was difficult, but she persevered. The result was Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chippery, which grew to become Mrs. Fields, with 600+ company-owned and franchise stores in the United States and 10 foreign nations.

“What I wanted was to be allowed to do the thing in the world that I did best — which I believed then and believe now is the greatest privilege there is. When I did that, success found me.” — Debbi Fields.

After years of working for other companies, chemist Linda McGill Boasmond became the first and only African-American woman to own a chemical manufacturing plant. In this great article from Voices, she offers some entrepreneurial advice:

Do
– Believe that it’s possible despite “the four F’s: finances, family, free time and being female.” She’s proof it can be done, she says.
– Know the key to overcoming difficult times is faith and perseverance. “Like with your GPS, when you miss the turn, you’ll reroute quickly,” she says.

Don’t
– Think you’re superwoman. “As an entrepreneur the business is your baby that you don’t want anyone else to hold,” she says. “The problem is you can never grow a business to scale by yourself.” Ask for help.
– Try to be one of the guys. “Bring the female perspective to the table,” she says.

So ladies, whatever your passion, don’t hold back. Follow it.

“Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.” — Marie Beyon Ray, author.

Until next time …

Toni