Through her position as president of Count Me In and CEO of her own company, Merlino has witnessed firsthand the unique challenges that women in business face.
In her experience, the biggest obstacle for women in business has to do with many female business owners’ desire to take on all aspects of the business. Merlino finds she is constantly coaching women on becoming better delegators.
“You can have it all as long as you don’t try to do it all,” Merlino said. “Women can feel like they have to do it for themselves or are the best person for every job, which leads to more time being spent working in their business rather than on their business,” she said.
Merlino said that the first responsibility female business owners need to do, is to start tasking others with the production of goods or the delivery of services. She believes that time is a business owner’s most valuable resource, and is constantly encouraging women to put their time to good use by developing a system of delegation that is as brilliant as the product or service being provided.
“If you’re in the cookie business; that means getting out there and selling your product and looking for opportunities to get you to the next level,” she said. “To grow, you need to hire a strong team to make the cookies. It’s working on your business, not just in it.”
“Too often, Merlino said, business owners view hiring employees as a strain on revenue instead of an opportunity to make more money.” In fact, she said that this lack of critical thinking about money is one of the greatest challenges facing the businesswomen she meets. She encourages them to step out of their comfort zones and take charge of their finances.
“Know and go where the money is,” Merlino said. “Whether it’s your banker, investors, or customers, you need to know where your money’s coming from. You should constantly be developing and deepening these relationships.”
“Women who own businesses also must learn how to make their money work for them,” Merlino said. Though many women believe they need grow their business no further once they’ve made enough money to support themselves and their families, Merlino disagrees. “Such women, she said, while successful, are misguided in the belief that by keeping their businesses small they are able to have more time with their families.”
“This is the fallacy that I think is the worst,” Merlino said. “You believe that keeping the business small will allow you to do everything you want to do. But if you build the business bigger, then you will have more money and more time.”
So Merlino coaches women away from this line of thinking and teaches them how to grow their businesses gradually and logically.
“To grow your business sustainably and increase revenues and profits, you need to have a plan and focus your energy on implementing it effectively and on a clear timeline,” said Merlino. “Commit to a plan, and keep your vision clear and at the forefront.”
Merlino’s years of experience also means that she has seen and heard many ideas for businesses. She said that the best way to know if a business idea will be successful is to ask questions and do research in the field.
“Ask yourself, ‘Is this product needed and wanted? Is there truly money to be made with this idea?’” she stated. “A business that has the potential to appeal to different demographics and can be offered up in a variety of distribution channels and is an indication that there is a potential for the business to grow and thrive.”
Merlino encourages women to be open to the professional feedback and constructive criticism they receive while trying out different business ideas or expanding an existing business, but she also believes that they need to be confident in their abilities in order to be successful.
“Having the right mindset is incredibly important,” Merlino said. “Be confident and don’t let fear of failure get in your way of succeeding.”
Merlino is confident that through programs like the ones offered by Count Me In, more women will become leaders in the world of business and in the world at large.
“I see how the world is changing,” Merlino said, “And I do my part to keep pushing. The women who grow their companies do the same.”
The entire article can be found here: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3924-how-female-business-owners-can-get-ahead.html
I spent many years holding myself back by not doing a little delegation of my own. I now have a professional team in place to help me manage and implement my own marketing (as well as my clients’), my accounting/taxes and other business aspects that I do not have a passion for handling, are being taken care of by experts in those fields.
I have seen steady growth, as much as 25% in the past, and 2021 is already showing positive signs of growth beyond what I achieved just a few years ago.
Take a close look at where you’re spending your time and whether or not you should be delegating some of those tasks to someone else.
Jeannine Grich, CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: https://accbizsvc.com/, or contact her at Jeannine@accbizsvc.com