Women In Business

What it Takes and the Hats They Wear

Marie Birkbeck

For the last year The Valley Sentinel has been showcasing and featuring some of our local female entrepreneurs and the work that they do; we know there are still more women out there with businesse

s and we will endeavor to profile the rest of you in the weeks to come.

It takes a special kind of person to run a business, and we applaud every one of the women that has taken the step to be an independent business owner.

But have you stopped to think about why people decide to go into business for themselves, or what is really involved in running your own business?

There are probably as many different answers as there are occupations, and although this information pertains to both male and female business owners, for this article we refer to women.
There are a lot of reasons why women decide to strike out on their own - perhaps she has had a lifelong dream of always being a business owner and has worked toward that goal with specialized skills training; for others, it is often a career change out of necessity or she recognizes a need in her community for a specific product or service, and carries her skills from previous education and experience over into this new venture.

Regardless of the why, there is a mountain of responsibility involved in running a business. A business owner needs to believe in herself and the path she has chosen, have a passion for what she does, and is willing to give 110% to her business if she wants it to succeed and grow. She needs to have a wide variety of management skills.

A recent blog post [http://training.simplicable.com] identified at least 110 different management skills that make a good manager - from time, human resources, marketing, and training, just to name a few. Obviously, it is not possible that a manager will possess all of these skills, but a good cross-section is necessary to keep your business thriving.

But just when you think you have all the answers, someone changes the questions - so business owners must recognize that running a business is a constant learning process, and be prepared to stay on top of new trends in their industry, whether it comes from books and online resources, webinars, conferences, or workshops. Owning your own business is a full-time commitment and requires tenacity and a good degree of stick-with-it-iveness.

Women in Business are rarely not involved in only one venture. They often wear more than one hat. She is also probably a wife, a mother with a family to care for, or a caregiver for elderly parents. When they are not at work, you will also likely find these entrepreneurial women at at least one boardroom table hoping to make a difference in their community.

So you think being an independent owner-operator might be for you, but you don’t have enough details about your specific field of interest - there is feed for another column!