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Every female business owner works tirelessly throughout the year toward continued success for her company. Even so, the approach of a new calendar year is an ideal time to slow down and take a thorough look at the company’s systems, to ensure they’re as streamlined and efficient as possible. Whether a female entrepreneur wants to sustain current levels of service, or attain high levels of growth during the coming year, she can take specific steps to ensure that the success she sees is on her own terms.


Whether she’s a Jane Dough, a Go Jane Go, a Merry Jane, an Accidental Jane or a Tenacity Jane, every female entrepreneur can learn from the following tips:


Resolution 1: Examine Systems â€" Within the Business and Within Self


·         Get it on Paper. Getting every step of every system written down is a crucial step in streamlining the business. Whether this company is a one-woman show or a corporation of 500 team members, writing each system down, step-by-step, allows a business owner to examine specific items that could be repaired for efficiency or even removed. It also provides future workers with the systems in place if a current worker leaves for some reason.

·         Examine Mindset, Habits and Environment. No matter how successful an entrepreneur is, she struggles with internal conflicts at some point. Whether she has a fear of making sales calls because she believes prospects will turn her down, or she puts off collecting payments because she feels guilty asking for money, or she can’t find her desk for the pile of papers on top of it, cleaning up these “internal issues” can go a long way toward more personal efficiency and improved business efficiency.

·         Consider Marketing Systems. Business owners may benefit from making a thorough analysis of their marketing techniques. An entrepreneur who wants to maintain a steadier workload may look for a marketing technique that doesn’t require much effort but gets regular, reliable results (like social networking). A business owner striving for growth may want to invest in traditional marketing, which can be expensive but nets powerful results. And someone who wants to earn more profit without putting in a considerable amount of time may leverage existing relationships by using referral offers, repeat customer offers or auto-pay options.


Resolution 2: Putting Self First, Sometimes.


  • From strategizing new marketing efforts and collecting payments to conducting employee reviews and creating long-term business plans, business owners can sometimes start to feel overwhelmed. Although it may seem impossible during these times, it is imperative that a busy entrepreneur literally schedule some “me time” into the calendar. No one functions at full capacity when she’s exhausted, so taking even a one-hour, no-work lunch with a friend at a great spot, or getting a pedicure at a favorite spa, or taking an entire weekend day to spend time with the family will improve efficiency once work beckons â€" and it will.

  • If possible, take on only projects that fit into the criteria you plug into a “non-negotiables” filter. Create a list of must-have items. They may include a free day on the weekend, the ability to take an unexpected day off work if the need arises, or projects that require creative stretch. If a project comes up and doesn’t fit designated criteria, pass it on. In this way, busy entrepreneurs ensure they’re working on projects they enjoy â€" and work is revitalizing.

  • Hire help. If a female business owner is not particularly skilled with numbers, it may be advisable to hire a bookkeeper. If she’s not proficient at marketing, she may want to hire a marketing specialist. And if she’s awesome at all things business but doesn’t enjoy the housework, she may hire a housekeeper to free up more time for her company. The key: if a business owner can work more billable hours, or generate more revenue, by hiring a professional, then the investment pays off.


Resolution 3: Communicate


·         By communicating her vision with her team, affiliates and even customers, a female entrepreneur invites people to share in that vision and make it happen. Team members who feel they know what they are working toward are more effective. Affiliates who know and respect an entrepreneur’s vision can better share referrals and services. And customers who know an entrepreneur is committed are more likely to communicate their needs and desires â€" making the company more effective.

·         Conducting regular performance reviews gives a business owner the opportunity to acknowledge team members’ hard work, and it gives team members a chance to provide feedback. This system adds motivation and efficiency for everyone involved.

·         Business owners who can work on their own terms are happier and less overwhelmed. If an entrepreneur is booked for the next week and a client approaches with a new project, the entrepreneur should feel comfortable telling the client she can’t start until the following week. Clients will respect the decision, knowing their projects will receive the same time and attention to detail.


By following these tips, it is possible to make 2010 the first of many years of increased success. Take some time as this New Year approaches to examine systems, create “me time” and communicate. Success is just around the corner.


Interested in learning more about the five Jane types and which Jane you are? Check out

This Business article was written by Michele DeKinder-Smith on 1/20/2010

Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder of Jane out of the Box, an online resource dedicated to the women entrepreneur community. Discover more incredibly useful information for running a small business by taking the FREE Jane Types Assessment at Jane out of the Box. Offering networking and marketing opportunities, key resources and mentorship from successful women in business, Jane Out of the Box is online at