Building Your Business

10 tips for women entrepreneurs

While working for oneself is an exciting prospect, it's also a scary one. Many women who have decided to take the plunge into entrepreneurship find that the pressure is immense, especially if they have a family to support and bills to pay. If you're struggling to cope, here are 10 things you can do to put yourself more at ease. Read on to find out what you can do to make sure the risk of entrepreneurship pays off.

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6 easy ways for business owners to free up time

As business owners, we charge clients for services. But how many business owners put a price tag on their time? This is not the per hour rate some of us charge clients. We’re talking about your time. The answer to the question is “not many”, because we don’t necessarily think of our time in terms of Rands and cents. As a business owner, you should, though. Your time is never free and it is most certainly valuable. Here are 6 ways for you to save and make the most of your time.

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6 ways to improve communication etiquette and boost productivity

Long gone are the days when receiving text messages and emails were a novelty, celebrated by the receiver. In today’s technological age, most of us crave an hour or two in the day when we can escape our phones, tablets and laptops, either for a run on the mountain, or to go into strategic thinking mode and switch off from the outside world for a while. How many times a day do you let your phone distract you? Here are 6 tips on how to stay present and focused, without missing out on all the action.

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Are you quietly waiting in the EQ queue?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is more important than IQ when working with other people. Are you able to be assertive without being aggressive? How do you respond to manipulation? In today’s business world organisations do not compete with their products. They compete through using their most valuable resource, their people. Good interpersonal skills are vital to allow this to happen. How good are your interpersonal skills?

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Are your financial affairs in order?

The need to have control over our financial affairs from both a personal and business perspective is imperative if we are to weather the storms of market conditions. The need for a competent financial advisor is more important now than it has ever been – being able to discuss your affairs in an open honest manner, and have someone that you can trust with this information, is like having a best friend that you can talk to and know that the advice they give you is from the heart not the pocket.

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Becoming a mentor

If you are a veteran in the SME sector, are running a very successful business or just feel you have something to offer a budding entrepreneur, you may consider becoming a mentor. Let's look at the characteristics of a good business mentor. Mentorship is all about giving back and contributing to the growth of someone who may be where you were as a would-be business mogul. Use your experience and expertise to help other small business owners

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Being a mother and a business owner

Running a business requires a great amount of work, and the nature of being an entrepreneur may mean that your work hours differ to that of a nine-to-five job. This may be considered more of a challenge for women who are also raising a family. Despite widespread belief, female business owners are not doomed to be engulfed by their businesses forever and often experience rich personal and family lives. Finding the right work-life balance can help you lead successful professional and personal life.

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Being smart about saving for your business

Every business is designed to earn money: for profit and survival. By definition, it’s an attempt to obtain compensation for services so that we can continue or begin living comfortably. But sometimes we need to find a way to make money quickly to help the business survive: anything can happen and that means being prepared. So with that in mind, we should consider interventions that can help us succeed through a difficult patch.

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Business Women's Association of SA

The BWA is the largest and most prominent association of business and professional women in South Africa, and the voice of women in business. It is a non-profit, voluntary organisation committed to offering real value in the form of leading and training, connecting and supporting members and South African business. The Association aims to be a united, non-racial business organisation that helps businesswomen to create connections on multiple dimensions – personal, professional and business – throughout their career.

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Finding a female mentor

It's no secret that women often think and behave differently to their male counterparts and it's no different when it comes to business. It's one reason why you may want to consider finding for a female mentor. With so many successful women entrepreneurs out there and industries becoming more progressive in this regard, there is an abundance of women with experience in a range of industries. To keep these numbers growing, many women's organisations and associations provide mentorship programmes to help fellow women in business.

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Keeping it all in the family poses specific challenges

What makes a family business different to any other? Some of the world's most famous and successful businesses were started by families, including Wal-Mart, Toyota, Ford and De Beers. Many of the businesses that are now listed on stock exchanges globally, started out as family businesses. No doubt many other ventures were started, but failed to reach such heights of success. What makes them different, and do they face the same challenges as any other business?

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KwaZulu-Natal Women in Business

KZN Women in Business is a support structure for women and a forum for fostering relationships, building networks, exchanging business knowledge and, ultimately, helping our members grow their businesses. KZNWIB brings businesswomen together at monthly breakfast meetings, in a friendly, structured environment, to build business relationships and supportive friendships. Members include established entrepreneurs, corporate executives and small business start-ups from a wide range of business sectors.

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Lessons to be learned from female entrepreneurs

It is widely agreed that women's style of doing business tends to differ from that of men, even though the distinctions are rarely clear-cut. There is, however, enough of a difference to suggest that along with the rise of female entrepreneurs, the culture of the business world is slowly changing, possibly for the better, and that all business owners – both male and female – should embrace this change in business style due to the numerous benefits it offers in the workplace. Here are several discernible traits among female entrepreneurs.

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Sisters Working in Film and Television South Africa

Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) is a fresh and energetic non-profit. Birthed when a group of South African women making films and television came together to discuss the needs of women, it is now the only South African organisation focusing exclusively on the common concerns and shared experiences of women working in film and television. As we work towards engaging, developing and advocating  women, SWIFT has fast become a hub of support, empowerment and inspiration.

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Small business incubators and support programmes

While access to finance is often quoted as one of the great challenges for small businesses, they also cite the need for non-financial support. Incubation, mentorship and access to business management service providers are just some of the services these kinds of initiatives can provide. Here is a list of small business incubators and support programmes geared towards assisting small businesses.

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South Africa needs more women-owned businesses

There is a critical need for increased levels of entrepreneurship and small business in South Africa – particularly from women. In order to grow the economy, South Africa needs jobs to be created. Research has shown women-owned businesses tend to be more profitable than those run by men. Additionally, recent research predicts that women-owned businesses may 972 000 jobs by 2022. This has led to a call for increased and focused support for women to start their own businesses.

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Technology for Women in Business

Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) was introduced to accelerate women's economic empowerment and the development of women-owned enterprises through the recognition of technology-based business applications and systems, and to unlock constraints to enterprise innovation and growth as well as global competitiveness. TWIB targets women entrepreneurs who use enterprising technological innovations to increase the production and enhance the quality of their products.

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The fast life and its impact on relationships

No one can question the immensely positive impact technology has had on business and our lives. Communication is faster and easier. We can access information quicker. We can reach others more easily, etc. There are amazing advantages for all of us. Relationships are being affected both positively and negatively. We can quite easily identify how relationships are benefiting, so this article rather explores some of the areas we need to focus on more closely.

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This one is for the ladies – a message to female entrepreneurs

My message is that as women we have incredible value to offer our families as successful entrepreneurs. We should never allow the gender views of others to influence our belief in what we are capable of and how we should go about it. Having run my own businesses for the past 17 years there are things that I, Sandy Geyer, have learned about being a woman entrepreneur that I would like to share.

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Who is your mentor?

Regardless of where you are in your career, a mentor can help guide you through your entrepreneurial journey. From providing information and knowledge to finding ways to stimulate your personal and professional growth, and everything in between. It is therefore important to find someone you can trust and feel comfortable enough with to ask questions and learn from.

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Why women make better business leaders

Research from the Harvard Business Review and others suggests something that most of us already know – firms without women in high-level leadership positions are missing out on some meaningful growth opportunities. According to the research, women that excel in business often prove to have more highly developed communication skills than their male colleagues. Learn more about the skills and perspectives that women bring to business by checking out Online MBA’s video "Why Women Make Better Business Leaders".

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Women in IT

Women in IT was originally established as a separate non-profit organisation focused on addressing the gender imbalance within the IT industry in South Africa. Today, it is a Chapter of the Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA), creating greater access and networking opportunities for women in the ICT space.

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Women's business organisations and associations

Running your own business can be a lonely road. Joining one's local business chamber or a similar business networking group can put you in touch with other entrepreneurs on the same journey. Most importantly, building this kind of network can also be a source of new clients for your business. Here is a list of women's business associations based across the country.

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Women's Legal Centre

The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) is a non-profit law centre that seeks to achieve equality for women, particularly black women through impact based litigation, the provision of free legal advice, legal support to advocacy campaigns run by other organizations (which fall within the Center’s objectives) and training that ensures people know and understand the impact of judgements of the courts on the subject of women’s rights. The WLC also provides legal advice to the other non-governmental women’s organizations nationally and in Africa. 

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