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Wise Advice From Female Entrepreneurs

Tiffany Pham, CEO of Mogul and her staff

If you’re just starting a business, you’re probably incredibly stressed and in need of a support network. Check out these pieces of advice from female entrepreneurs and take solace in the strength of their words of wisdom.

1. Don’t wait for perfection to start your business.

Tiffany Pham, the CEO of Mogul, started her company to connect women across the globe and empower them to seek new opportunities for themselves. Her advice is, “Put pen to paper. Don’t worry about [your idea] being perfect at the beginning.” In other words, if you have a winning idea, take action. Don’t wait until you’ve thought the idea through a dozen times: sometimes the most productive thing you can do is to take the first step and figure out the rest as you go along.

2. Pick your audience wisely.

Starting your own business requires a vigorous marketing strategy, which means identifying a niche market. People have certain needs, and you must convince your intended market that your business is the right one to fill those needs. In the words of Barbara Felix, owner of a custom sugar cookie business called Felix the Cook, “Know your market. If you don’t know where your market is and what they want, you won’t stand a chance.”

3. Network with like-minded female business owners.

The competition is intense, and your survival depends - at least partially - on who you know. Many more doors can open for your business if you secure connections with successful individuals. You can find many national and local organizations that exist solely to build mentorships between new and established businesswomen. Access those opportunities and advertise your business’s name and mission. AlexAnndra Ontra, president of Shufflrr, understands the importance of female networks in the business space, reminding us that “no one can empathize with your situation better than another female entrepreneur.”

4. Offer a necessary solution to a common problem.

Take Lea von Bidder’s advice: “Work on something that means a lot to you.” Von Bidder founded Ava Science, Inc., a health company that allows women to track their cycles with proven scientific measurements. Her product, the Ava bracelet, empowers women with a greater understanding of their bodies’ natural state. This product tackles a key aspect of a woman’s life by allowing her to monitor ovulation, physiological stress levels, pregnancy, et cetera. It’s the perfect gadget for all women at all points in their lives—which makes it a winner.

5. Be flexible.

Maybe flexibility isn’t exactly a trait that first comes to mind when you’re thinking of a CEO. But it’s a truly underrated one, as Courtney Nichols Gould points out. Says the CEO of SmartyPants Vitamins, “Startups, like children, are mirrors for all your flaws. They will be exposed, so you need to have a flexible perspective. You have to be accountable for your failings and relentless in learning how to address them so that they don’t get in the way of your success.” When things go wrong, it’s up to you to reflect and adjust course. Don’t blame outside forces; you are in control of your business.