These habits become part of their lifestyles and contribute positively towards their businesses. Dr Ellen Otaru is a businesswoman and the Secretary General of the Tanzania Women Chambers of Commerce and here she shares tips on how to be a good business woman.
Do your research
The first key to a successful business is to do research on whatever business you want to establish, that is the first tip Dr Otaru pointed out.“The research should be about your business, look at what others have done, what they are doing and find out the pros and cons of that particular business,” she insists.
As for the capital Dr Otaru says most women complain they do not have enough capital to start businesses, she argues that any woman who aims at starting a business needs to have saved up before hand.
“Many successful women you see have either worked or saved up money before starting their businesses or they got support from family and friends, either way you have to prepare in advance,” she adds.She continues “You need to put aside at least a three months rent so that you can set up an office while you work on getting a loan.”
A business woman with no network is set to fail, if you have a business your goal is make a profit and to do that you need to network strategically.Partner with your competitor
Do not be afraid to partner with a competitor, for instance, if you have a bakery and bake 100 loaves of bread each day and a hotel approaches you, placing an order of 200 do not hesitate to get into a partnership with your competitor to deliver the 200 loaves of bread. Dr Otaru says this is a good way of making your customers happy and at the same time you do not lose out in your business.
Join an association
Another important point she stressed was joining an association that suits the business you are doing.“A lot of business woman including myself have joined associations. For instance women in agriculture can join an agribusiness association,” she hinted.
Dr Otaru says associations are important for networking and most of the time offer opportunities for training and seminars that help businesses grow.
When your business starts making a profit, use some of it to improve your business either through training or expanding the business. You can even decide to train your workers or pay for a business trip and visit similar businesses in other communities or countries,” she said.
Dr Otaru says a business woman needs to have to be knowledgeable, that can be obtained by being well informed not only about your business but about politics, financial and social issues.
“A businesswoman needs to be groomed at all times. Your hair must be in place, dress according to your age, keep your nails clean and wear minimum make up,”
Last but not least a businesswoman must master the art of balancing her business and family.