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by Vault Careers | November 02, 2011


Last month was Women's Small Business Month, but it's never too late for working women to reevaluate their long-term career goals in order to manage and grow in today's competitive work environment.  Here are some tips to help women get ahead in the business world. 

1. Network

Networking is a critical tool for all professionals, but increasingly so for women business owners looking to make connections within their community, which can lead to long-term relationships and help build a list of loyal customers for their company.

Ellen Elia, senior retail officer for TD Bank's South Florida market, said women need to look beyond the internet for contacts.

"When meeting with others at a networking event, it's important for women to be an expert salesperson when talking about their business and its direction," Elia added. "By understanding her customer base, and projecting passion and enthusiasm, the groundwork will be laid for building individual relationships."

2. Look for or become a mentor

According to a new survey by LinkedIn, 75 percent of women between the ages of 45 and 66 said they were not ever mentored by a woman. Becoming a mentor to a young professional is a good way for women in business to pass on her expertise.

Beverly Jones, an advisor at Clearways Consulting, told Forbes that it can also be a good idea for older business women to ask someone younger to mentor them, especially in emerging field such as social media.

3. Grow a business plan

Maureen Vanuden, small business manager for TD Bank's Northern New England markets, said women who have their own businesses should make sure they are constantly reviewing and updating their long-term strategy to make sure they are in a position to grow.

"Women small business owners should define the realistic goals and expectations for their business and identify the steps to reach them," Vanuden noted. "Understand your short and long-term cash flow needs and make sure your business plan proves a profitable track record."

4. Strike a balance

Most businesswomen find themselves trying to strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. Business developer and consultant Carolina Dursina said woman can best multi-task by setting weekly goals for themselves, making lists of what needs to get done and, most of all, by being flexible. She said that seeing time in terms of hours can also help busy businesswomen tackle a project one task at a time.

--Published courtesy of Brafton


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