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While each entrepreneur will base her companyâ€™s plans for the future on her own needs and desires, and on the companyâ€™s strengths and challenges, she can take certain specific steps to ensure her planning is efficient and effective, to lead her company exactly where she wants it to go.
A recent study from Jane Out of the Box, an authority on female entrepreneurs, reveals there are five distinct types of women in business. Based on professional market research of more than 2,500 women in business, this study shows that each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article provides advice for every type of business owner in creating solid plans that lead to a viable future.
- Systematically track key performance metrics. To grow her business in exactly the right way for her, a business owner must understand the gaps that exist between where her company is today and where she wants it to be. To gain that understanding, it is imperative to create clear, measurable goals, and to track the companyâ€™s performance against those goals. While Jane Dough business owners may strive for fast growth, Accidental Jane business owners will look for ways to maintain an even workload. Whatever her goal, a female entrepreneur should find systematic ways to track her businessâ€™ performance so she can get exactly to where she wants to go. Direct mail campaigns, e-mail campaigns and â€œpay-per-clickâ€ advertising provide simple and easy-to-use methods for business owners to track performance.
- Get clear on personal priorities. In general, Merry Jane business owners are exceptionally skilled at managing their priorities from work tasks to personal commitments. It is essential for each type of business owner to spend some time and energy taking care of herself. If necessary, an entrepreneur can schedule â€œme-timeâ€ into her calendar and treat appointments with herself with just as much care as those sheâ€™s scheduled with clients. If a full-scale vacation isnâ€™t possible during the busiest time of year, an entrepreneur can schedule her vacation for a point six months in the future when things slow down enough for her to leave her business in the capable hands of her team members. At least once or twice a week, business owners should find some time to unplug, relax and get away, whether itâ€™s a walk on the beach, a hot bath in the evening or a night out with that special someone. No one can work at her best if she is exhausted and frazzled. Regular breaks provide opportunities for business owners to recharge and revitalize so that when they return to work, they do so with efficiency and energy. Getting clear on personal priorities is a critical component in planning for the future because as a business grows, so does the number of demands on the business owner â€" and getting the proper rest and relaxation is essential to personal satisfaction.
- Find the right marketing method. Todayâ€™s â€œInformation Ageâ€ makes marketing a multi-faceted opportunity. From social networking to information marketing, business owners can select a method or a combination of methods that provide the growth she wants to see. For example, if an entrepreneur is looking for fast growth, she may choose to make a big investment in a traditional marketing campaign. On the other hand, if an entrepreneur wants to maintain her workload, she may choose social networking, which provides slow growth over time, based on building relationships. Finally, if an entrepreneur wants to cut down on her workload, she may hone the focus of her marketing efforts to target a very specific ideal client. Again, no matter what she wants for the future of her company, a business owner must develop a marketing method that works.
- Set specific goals â€" and take real steps toward achieving them. Goal-setting is imperative in planning for the future of any business. A business owner may set one moderate goal or several smaller ones. Once she decides which goal to tackle first, she can then write down all the specific steps for reaching that goal. For example, she may decide she wants to develop a new web site. She can break that goal into several smaller steps including analyzing her current web site and deciding which content to keep, which to improve and which to eliminate, asking friends for references for web site designers, contacting those designers, reviewing proposals, selecting a designer, reviewing new web site content, and going live. For business owners who find it challenging to set and achieve goals, breaking each goal into a smaller â€œto-doâ€ list makes it seem more manageable.
- Determine an ideal type of business ownership. If a business owner loves her life as it is, feels that sheâ€™s enjoying the right balance between her personal life and her work life, and is truly satisfied with how her business is doing now, then she may want to continue living as her current type of business owner. On the other hand, she may want to make more money, enjoy more personal time or work with fewer clients. Once they know where they are and where they want to be, they can then assess the disparity between their current type and their ideal type and start taking steps toward becoming their ideal type. For any business owner, planning for the future of her entrepreneurial style is just as important as planning for the future of her company.
Tailoring each of these steps to match an entrepreneurâ€™s style, habits and characteristics will ensure that she receives the maximum benefits from each planning tip. Every future looks unique, just as every entrepreneur does. But every business owner must make these important considerations when designing exactly how her future will turn out.
Interested in learning more about the five Jane types and which Jane you are? Check out www.janeoutofthebox.com.