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Seven Biggest Business Blunders That Women Make

by Linda Hollander, the Wealthy Bag Lady © 2003

(FeatureSource) Women are starting businesses in record numbers, and it's not just because we want financial independence and empowerment. It's because we're good at it. Still, we have some special issues and challenges in business. Here, then, are the top seven business blunders that women make:

1. PRICING TOO LOW

Women-owned firms are notorious at pricing their goods and services too low. This dooms them to a life of always worrying about money. Even when business is booming, they arenít making enough profit on their sales.

2. LACK OF INFORMATION ABOUT CAPITAL

This is a big one! Itís really not about the lack of money. It's the lack of capital-raising skills and knowledge that holds women back. Studies have shown that fast growth firms eclipse the laggards because of their aggressive use of investor capital and their risk-taking skills. You donít have money? So what. Someone else does!

3. HYPER-SENSITIVITY

In my success-coaching, I talk to many women who are just too sensitive about business. Every rejection becomes a devastating blow. The truth is that people who reject us are actually doing us a favor. They are freeing us to go after the qualified customers who will help build our business.

4. LACK OF SALES AND MARKETING SKILLS

Every company is a sales and marketing company. The true salesperson is the ultimate adviser. She listens to the customerís goals, objections, questions and desires. Instead of pushing products, she offers brilliant solutions. If they do any marketing at all, most companies use a limited, one-prong approach, sometimes called "Elephant Marketing." To succeed, you need to use "Octopus Marketing," which involves many different high-tech, low-tech and no-tech strategies.

5. NOT TRUSTING YOUR INTUITION

Women business owners have highly developed intuition, but sometimes we forget to listen to our inner voice. Intuition is an important part of business for both men and women, actually. Because he didnít trust his gut, the chairman of Remington Products, Victor Kiam, lost out on an opportunity to manufacture and distribute what we now know as Velcro.

6. NO SYSTEMS IN PLACE

When women start or buy businesses, they tend to choose labor-intensive companies. If you show up, you get paid. If you donít, you lose money. You are trading hours for dollars. Your business should be a system that functions without your presence. The system gives you freedom.

7. NO PLANNING

The business plan, whether written on a napkin or presented in a portfolio, is the internal roadmap for your business. Without it you will be swimming upstream. The business plan is a living entity. Donít just stick it in a drawer or in a file cabinet. Take it out every three months and reevaluate it, massage it, sleep on it and ask other peopleís opinions about it.

Sure, business is challenging. But if you do it right and learn from your mistakes, it's your ultimate passport to living the life of your dreams.

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Linda Hollander has been an entrepreneur for 20 years and is the author of "Bags to Riches: Seven Success Secrets for Women in Business." For more from the Wealthy Bag Lady visit www.WealthyBagLady.com.

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