Can These Four Secrets and Six Tips Help Successful Business Women Get the Results They Want?

Ask all of the successful business women that you know and most if not all will talk about how mentors have them in various stages of their lives and careers. Most leaders never could have achieved the results they have without the support, interest and feedback of trusted advisers, mentors. But what happens for successful business women if they could use the help and support of mentors, but don’t have any?

The ideal scenario should always be to have a group of mentors or others who you can count on for honest feedback and support before you actually could use them. It’s often very isolating for successful business women so the support of a trusted adviser can help them avoid making costly and bad decisions. Obviously you need to start out by analyzing where you need mentors and how they can help you. Once that is done, how can successful business women go about finding one?

Secret 1 involves determining what attributes, attributes and other characteristics of mentors would be most helpful to you. Write down the five attributes that you want your mentor to possess. Analyze what combinations would be most helpful to you. This could vary if you are looking for help with your career, a challenging business task or dealing with tough customers.

Secret 2 is to ask who your mentors could be. Potential candidates could be your friends, colleagues, family members, superiors or others. We would not suggest you just go out and ask them to be your mentor but that you first meet them and discuss some of your goals and challenges. Successful business women should realize Both mentors and mentees need to feel comfortable with the conversation so the required level of trust can be established. This is hard to force so don’t try too.

Secret 3 for those who you select as potential mentors is it important to ask for their permission to contact them on a regular basis. Perhaps you could say something to the effect of “Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. Would you mind if I contacted you on a regular basis to get your feedback and advice.” This clarity is critical for successful business women to develop an effective relationship.

Secret 4 – Once you have your mentor, the next step is to actively work to establish a strong and effective mentoring relationship. For most successful business women it does not happen right away but will require ongoing planning and work.

There are several tips to making this happen:

Tip 1 – Always be clear about what you want or need to learn – you completed this self-assessment during your initial self-assessment activities so you should be able to elaborate on your need for a mentor

Tip 2Take several sessions for the mentor to learn about you as well as to understand what you want or need from them – They will need time to absorb the issues, concerns and challenges so they can determine the best way to help

Tip 3always be active and honest. While trust may take some time to develop, over time it is the most critical element to an effective mentoring relationship.

Tip 4be a good and effective listener. Failure to understand and incorporate the discussions with your mentor can be frustrating and de-motivating to both of you

Tip 5show initiatives and be proactive. You can’t sit back and wait for them to reach out to you. You must show in your actions that you are grateful for their support

Tip 6 – be ready for the challenge – this is common to many mentoring relationships because tough love is required to make it effective. You may not want to hear certain things but need to in order to be successful. Rather than get defensive or withdraw, successful business women use this advice to propel themselves to greater success.

Finding a good mentor is never easy but it is absolutely vital to the success of successful business women. The very best have many mentors throughout their careers who provide the support, perspective and feedback to help them make better decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Tip #2 – Home Business Entrepreneurs Have an Office

Hoping you are enjoying our home business tips series for individuals looking at starting a home business or the entrepreneurs actively operating one. In the first article, it was mentioned how we can use hardware that enables us to work our business from anywhere in the house and even tools that allow us to work when we’re away, but by no means should that undermine the importance of having an office (or work designated space) in our home. A home based business does imply having a home office. To the same extent we have specific rooms in our homes for eating, cooking and sleeping, a space does need to be delimited for working. Even if we may not choose to work from there all the time, it’s important to have an anchor point for your business; you may want to view it as “Corporate Head Office”. You may decide to work from remote offices such as the patio, the hammock, the gazebo, the hotel room or the pool chair at your favorite Waikiki beach resort but in the end you will always need to come back and re-group in the home office – Corporate Headquarters.

While it is quite possible to have a paperless home office should you choose to, there’s always going to be some sort of paper even if you’re not the one generating it. You will have to start maintaining a filing system so piles of notes, advertising sketches, financial statements and the likes do not start piling on your desk.

The home office is also the area you can revert to when you need peace and quiet when other areas of your home are busy with sounds of playful youngsters, teen music, TV sports games or barking dogs. While those sounds are very natural to the home environment, they are also distracting to the work at hand. There are times when you need to focus your attention on a specific matter, think strategically or carry out a phone conversation and you need a place that will allow you to do so.

For that reason, you are best advised to tailor that area so it reflects your personality. You want to feel comfortable, well equipped and productive. Keep an organized and clean desk. Have all your office supplies placed for quick access. A desk can clutter easily so always remind yourself frequently that a desk is not a storage area but a work area. Your work area should feel spacious and not cramped. When you sit at your desk you should not have to move or remove piles of paper in order to find a place to work. Do not allow piles to form and when the day is over, clean up your desk so it’s ready and fresh for the next use.

If at all possible, choose a room that has a window so you can have daylight and fresh air come into your office. Fresh air will oxygenate your office so your brain can think clearly and you don’t feel sluggish. The sunlight brings you vitamins, brightens your day and makes the room alive. Add to that some favorite colors to accent your room and you’re set. While some may go as far as painting the walls to their liking, there are other alternatives. Put up colorful pictures on the walls, post your life vision, print your favorite quotes on colored paper and stick them to the walls at random angles, post your life goals and you might also want to frame some pictures of the important people in your life. All these will quickly fill up your wall space and pretty soon the color of your walls won’t even matter. It will make your work environment vibrant, warm, comfortable and conducive to the empowering thoughts you need when you revert to your work alcove.

Plants and animal life are also a good idea. Plants will create oxygen during daytime while their color and appearance will make the place alive. A fish tank is another source of light, it brings busy aquatic life to your room and creates a soothing effect.

Another area of your office should be devoted to your personal and business development library. A considerable amount of time need to be devoted to your development and if you do not have a library in the works already, it’s time you start one. But that will be for another article. In the mean time, put your construction hat and work boots on, you have an office to design; an anchor to set, a Corporate Headquarters to establish. See you in the boardroom!

Successful Home-Based Business Owners Develop a Marketing Plan

I’m always surprised by the people that fail to work with a business or marketing plan. The idea seems to be intimidating to many otherwise fearless entrepreneurs. The plan doesn’t have to be a long drawn-out process to be effective. You can take a few minutes and sketch out something quickly that helps you to formalize your goals, establish a budget and evaluate your expected returns on investment.

It will also serve as a roadmap to help you maintain consistent sales throughout the year. Savvy marketers often develop the entire project around a sales and marketing proposal in order to bring in joint venture partners.

There are many ways to develop a marketing plan. The approach taken here is a simple six step process. If you are really creative you can accomplish all six steps on the back of a napkin.

  1. State your purpose – Dr. Stephen R. Covey is famous for coining the phrase; “Begin with the and in mind.” This simply means to have an idea of what your results should look like before you begin your journey.
  2. Quantify the result – if you are selling glass figurines online, you should know how many units you’ll need to sell in order to make the kind of income that will make the project worthwhile. You must identify what success looks like even before you begin.
  3. Situational Analysis – this simply means you are acknowledging where you are in the process at the moment. You will also want to look back in the past to evaluate the decisions and actions that lead you to the present situation.
  4. Marketing Focus – take a close look at consumers to whom you wish to sell your services or products. Get a clear understanding of your ideal prospect; get to know and relate to the problems they face and recognize how your solutions can benefit them.
  5. Tactical – now we brainstorm to find the various methods to get our message to its intended target. Don’t be afraid to get wild, crazy and creative during brainstorming. There are often a few really good ideas hidden among the off-the-wall stuff. Write them all down and review them later.
  6. Budgets Analysis and Performance Milestones – I saved the bean counting for last because it is usually the part that entrepreneurs don’t like to do. Once you have roughed out your marketing plan of attack, you will want to create a budget for which to work your plan. You will also need to set realistic milestones to monitor your progress along the way.

In the end, a marketing plan is just a road map for your objectives. You can create a formal marketing plan with spreadsheets, graphs and even PowerPoint presentations. You might simply look at your worn out napkin one or twice a year. Whichever technique you choose will be perfect as long as you get it done. When it comes to marketing your business, you need to know where you’re going so that you know when you’ve arrived.

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