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Success Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

March 22, 2010

Tracy Higginbotham, President Women TIES

As Women TIES celebrated its fifth anniversary, I looked back at three major success hightlights that produced three general success strategies to help other women entrepreneurs. We wanted to share them with our readers today.  We hope they inspire you to higher levels of entrepreneurial success this year.

Build It and They Will Come

In September 2009 at the opening of our Fall Luncheon schedule, 65 women attended the Syracuse event. This was our second biggest luncheon crowd but more importantly over 65% of the women who attended were from regions outside of Syracuse.  The audience had members who traveled from the Mohawk Valley, Rochester, Ithaca, Cortland, Oswego, Canandiauga, Skaneateles and Auburn.

When I created the unique concept of a “Regional” Marketplace, the business community didn’t understand the concept. They didn’t believe women would travel between cities to meet each other. I knew if I created strong local events in regional cities, kept explaining the mission, and encouraged women to get on the road, it would work. In September 2009, the diverse regional audience of women, many who had already done business with each other, proved Women TIES mission was working!

Lesson: When you create a unique business, it takes time to develop it, to sell it, and to watch it grow. You have to be patient. It will take 3-5 years to build it and for customers to come.

Collaboration and Innovation Works

Erin McKenna, Bride Design

In June 22, 2005, Erin Nowak McKenna, Owner of 

Bride Design, presented a program “Using Creativity to Grow Your Business”. In the audience was Jennifer Comfort the owner of She Takes the Cake.  Erin delivered a fascinating presentation on creating 100 ideas for a company through brainstorming. One of the suggestions she had for her own company was the concept of putting her wedding designs on something other than paper.  When the presentation was over, Jen approached Erin about the idea of printing her wedding designs and invitations on her home-made cookies.

Within a year Erin and Jen had created and launched their own “invitation cookies” as a joint venture. Today’s “Sweet Talk Boutique” produces edible invitations for all occasions.  This collaboration was one of the proudest moments in Women TIES history because it brought two regional women together to not only network but to create additional revenue streams for their businesses. It is truly a glowing example of how Women TIES can benefit women entrepreneurs interested in collaboration and innovation.

Lesson:  Sometimes the dreams you have for your business are bigger than you imagined. Sometimes being at the right event, at the right time, is a fateful decision that opens up economic “ties” that can change the course of your entrepreneurial venture. You have to be open to the opportunities.

Trust Your Gut

Fours years into our business, my board and I had the idea to plan a large, one day conference to bring our regional members together.  With so many typical business conferences occuring locally and nationally, it was especially important to me as the leader of the organization to put a “signature” feeling on the day to make it unqiue. We set out to create an “inspirational retreat” instead of an educational symposium, annual business conference or networking trade show.

We made sure the Retreat was hosted in a casual, relaxed business atmosphere with experienced women entrepreneurs delivering key success strategies from an inspirational story telling, first person experience. Once again, staying true to the vision and feeling of the event was critical to its success.

One day after 130 women attended the first annual “Women TIES Retreat” Inspiring Success”, over 80% of the attendees sent glowing remarks via email to our office within 24 hours of the event! We did not prompt the response but they enjoyed the event so much they wrote the comments on their own.

Lesson: Be creative. Think outside of the box. Stay true to your vision and the atmosphere you are creating for your company whether it’s an internal atmosphere or one every client experiences at your large or small events. Be unique.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 22, 2010 8:19 pm

    Tracy, you are so inspirational! Everytime I read one of your articles or your blog I get creative ideas. Thanks for all you do to connect women in business!

    Like

    • March 23, 2010 7:04 am

      Thank you for your comment. I love inspiring women entrepreneurs through words, events, promotion and sales. I am glad you enjoy my articles and blog. Let me know if there is a topic you’d like me to write about that would help your business specifically.

      In entrepreneurial spirit,
      Tracy

      Like

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