As we come toward the end of Women’s History month, we are taking the opportunity to share a few tips to help small businesses and women entrepreneurs as they navigate their way to success. Owning a small business carries it’s perks but running one successfully has its challenges too. Here are a few tips you can use to support the success and growth of your business.

Build A Supportive Network
“Your network is your net worth”. Use your network as a reliable support system. Seek the advice of fellow business owners or mentors who can understand what you are going through. They’ve more than likely been through the same situation or they’re willing to help you navigate.So how do you start or build your network? Get out there and join business/professional groups. These groups intentionally create programming to get likeminded people together to exchange ideas, businesses, and provide a listening ear for business owners. An example of something like this would be your area university and chamber of commerce events.

Never Stop Learning
Don’t rest on your laurels as an entrepreneur. With the internet and new technologies introduced everyday, embrace change. The best way to stay ahead of trends is through seeking constant education. By education, we aren’t talking about something formal, it could just be an industry specific report and article. Challenge yourself to depart from your comfort zone to stay ahead of trends in your industry. Attend workshops, conferences and seminars to get the full download on a recurring basis. Remaining abreast of changes will differentiate you and your competition by leaps and bounds.

Learn to Delegate
While running a business it is so easy to take on too much. Yes, you are the most passionate person in your business, but it is within the best interest to give it the opportunity to grow. Many entrepreneurs are guilty of superwom(an) syndrome where they think they can do it all. Having this syndrome robs the entrepreneur of balance, time, and creativity. Business owners must delegate work to an outsourced vendor or an employee. In a sense, like duplicating themselves. Before you delegate, you must go through the proper steps to find a trustworthy employee or vendor partner, like a virtual assistant or project manager to lighten the load. Remember, it is important to give more important responsibilities gradually, it will make them feel more loyal to the business and its wins.

Know Your Business Identity
Branding is such an important buzz word these days with the heightened use of “always in your face” social media platforms. Define your business and brand from the start, be consistent with your messaging and what services or products you offer. At the beginning, it is very tempting to sway with the wind and go outside of your scope of work to bring in extra money. Do your best to remain focused. Stretching yourself and business too thin or providing mediocre work can carry negative effects on the business you worked so hard to build. Your business is not for all and that’s ok, define your niche as early as you can. If you found these tips useful for your business, share them with other entrepreneurs. UF Small Business and Vendor Diversity Relations provides an array of useful workshops and resources with continuous support along the way. We’d love to know if you have more tips you could share with our community.

Feel free to email Nadia at Simply Sociable or the UF SBVDR.