If you are a new business owner or an entrepreneur who is about to launch his or her own business then you know that there are several keys to success and one of them is the importance of having a mentor. When I first started A.Blake Enterprises there were a few women who were and still are very instrumental in helping me become successful and one of them is Troy Farmer.
Some of you may remember my blog post about Troy and her husband David and their business, Farmer’s Famous Fish which I wrote a few years ago. Well Troy and I met many years ago and she has been my sistah-friend and mentor since day 1. She has always been very supportive of me and my endeavors and I have in turn been supportive of her and her endeavors.
She is now the Director of the YWCA Delaware WAND Program and last Thursday it was the Mind Your Business Series – Small Business Pitch Graduation Ceremony held at Easter Seals Delaware in New Castle.
WAND = Women Achieving New Directions Program assists entrepreneurs with career readiness/self-employment coaching and development skills. I have had the privilege of being a Social Media Coach for the past two years and am always so proud of the participants. You will note, however, that the program is also open to men which is evidenced by the group photos.
YWCA Delaware Wo(men) Achieving New Directions (WAND) offers support for Self-Employment/Entrepreneurship and Career Readiness. Each track is designed to help participants, who are either seeking to start a business, gain entrepreneurial support or develop job seeking strategies with a “hands on approach”.
Most recently, the YWCA Delaware rolled out there fourth, 10-week Mind Your Business Series. Entrepreneurs are supported in their efforts of part-time or full-time self-employment. The program provides participants with tools and strategies to help turn a great idea, side job or hobby into a legitimate and profitable business. Once the participants complete the program they will participate in presenting their business to Marketplace Experts, who will test their business concept.
The business owner pitches their businesses with a review, that includes their value proposition, competitive analysis, and financials. Each presenter receives feedback, recommendations and resources to help start, grow or expand their business. The goal of the program is to create a learning environment for start-ups and help cultivate their knowledge of owning a sustainable business with community and peer support. After the program, business owners are assisted with the implementation and application phase of turning their dream into a reality.
Both of the WAND Career-Readiness programs, WorkAbility and 21st Century Job Search Strategies, help those with barriers to employment or those who are seeking to transfer their skills into new opportunities for upward mobility. Both programs are robust and rich with engaging the participants in learning how to navigate the job search process, depending upon where the individual are in their job search process. The WorkAbility Series will be presented and open to the community starting May 14th and the 21st Century Job Search Strategies Series will start in late June. For more information on any of these programs please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 302-224-4060, Ext. 203.
As new business owner another important key to success is data management as you need to ensure that you maintain correct and accurate records. It doesn’t matter if the records are customer files or inventory control, you have to make sure that they are current and reported timely which can also be time consuming.
The same way companies outsource functions like marketing, sales, development and HR, the fastest growing companies are now using 3rd party tools, like Izenda, to cover their reporting and analytics needs. The tools are licensed to a company and can often be completely invisible as a 3rd party product to the end-user. This model lets businesses focus more time on their core product and far less time on dealing with reporting.
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Let’s Chat > What do you think are some other factors to consider when launching and/or maintaining a successful business?