Do you want to start your own business?

Recent figures show that female self-employment has been rising steadily since the early 2000s and the number of self-employed women is up by 188,000 compared to last year. Here, we get the top tips from Forward Ladies, a networking group of women entrepreneurs, on the secrets of their success.


Do you want to start your own business?

1. “Keep focused on your brand goals and don’t get sidetracked by what other companies do – it’s impossible to offer everything for everybody! Don’t spend money on expensive websites at the beginning, as your brand may evolve and you may want to change it. Have some 'me-time' and set up a good support system, such as food shopping delivery, massages at home etc,” says Adele Carnell, founder and CEO of Filmore & Union healthy-eating restaurants .

2. “Be true to yourself as you will need to make some hard decisions that you have to live with.  Knowing you did the best you could is vital for your wellbeing,” says Anne Wilson managing director of Numill Tooling Solutions and Freeman of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire.

3. “Network with like-minded business owners – not just to increase your contacts but to be supportive, too. Surround yourself with friends, family and supporters. They will always be there to congratulate you through the ups and help you through the downs,” says Claire O'Connor, founder and managing director of Babyballet.

4. Have a precise strategy. Make sure that you have sufficient time to work on the business and not just in the business. Without a strategy a business lacks direction and focus. And focus on building your ace team as you start growing your business, because your business is only as good as the weakest member of your team. You can only confidently take advantage of the amazing opportunities you have around you when you have a strong and competent team to share the workload with,” says Alexa Green, managing director AAG Systems.

Are you a female entrepreneur?

Forward Ladies is a networking group which helps businesses not only to get started, but also overcome the challenges associated with growth. They are now encouraging female business leaders to enter their annual awards. The organisation, which has been the voice for women since 1999, has a diverse membership of thousands of businesswomen – from global corporates to SMEs and start-ups.

The Awards, sponsored by HSBC, have become one of the most high-profile and respected accolades for women by recognising their enormous contribution to the economy and being an acclaimed forum for training and development.