5 tips for women in business during COVID-19

Educated. Determined. Relentless in their pursuit. The list of adjectives could go on and on to describe women in business and the waves they’re making in nearly every industry.

Throughout 2019, women-owned businesses provided almost 9.4 million jobs and generated $1.9 trillion in revenue.

TRILLION. That’s no small number. 

These women are trailblazers, setting an example to all women that they, too, can successfully pursue their dreams. To keep motivation high and creativity flowing like water, women entrepreneurs are often on the hunt for enlightening partnerships to elevate their business, especially in this virtual environment. 

To provide support, education, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs, BBB has developed events designed to assist women in business and new business owners.

As an organization with a 100-year history of supporting businesses, Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest (BBB) jumped into action to elevate the platform and uplift women entrepreneurs amidst a pandemic. BBB recently hosted a virtual summit, aptly named the Industrious Women’s Collective (IWC), to connect women from all over the country. In partnership with GoDaddy, nearly 100 professional women came together to learn how to elevate their business, create synergistic partnerships, and have like-minded conversations. 

Stacy Cline, Director of Corporate Citizenship with GoDaddy challenged attendees with these words of wisdom, “We hope to inspire you all to explore new opportunities and get a little uncomfortable.” A perfect nod to growing through the unknown. 

Stacy was joined by an impressive lineup of influential women business leaders, and here is what they had to say.

Top five takeaways from the summit:

Women in Business Tip 1: Have a Facebook business page and use it.

“Social media is critical in a couple of ways,” said Heidi Gibson, Senior Director of Product, Management, and Growth for GoDaddy. “It gives people interested in you a place to go to learn more about you and keeps you top of mind, so when they are ready for your services, YOU are first in their mind. It also has the technical factor for actually boosting any searches for your website, if you have backlinks from your social media accounts linked to your website.”

Women in Business Tip 2: In the niches are the riches. Find YOUR niche.

“We did not want to build a brand that competed with Proctor and Gamble because they would just turn around and smoosh us,” shared Danielle Vincent, The Boss, Outlaw Soaps, Inc. “We also did not want to compete with other local, small soap makers that sell their product at, say, farmer’s markets, so we found our niche, Western-inspired, personal care products that smell like campfire, whiskey, leather, and the outdoors. We started with adventure-scented soaps and have grown from there.”

Women in Business Tip 3: Communication is crucial.

Karen Stafford, President of Arizona’s Regional Office for Employers Council told us, “Speaking for others, using non-committal words, downplaying a concern, using disempowering words or phrases…all of these ways of communicating can lead to misunderstandings and may not help get you to where you want to go with a customer, fellow employee, board member, or advisor. Bringing awareness to our word choice can help us understand what may be getting in our way with communicating effectively.”

Women in Business Tip 4: Get involved, get connected.

“Certification programs usually offer connection to various mentorship programs, business education, and formal and informal offers to pursue business deals, not only nationally, but at a regional level. Whether you are certified, or not, attending a national conference is a great place to go, with approximately 4K to 5K people in attendance. About one third will be supplier diversity or procurement individuals, so you’ll be able to do three to five years worth of networking at one event,” stated Dr. Pamela Williamson, CEO of WBEC-West and BBB Board Member. “Moving towards and obtaining more diverse certification provides three key benefits for your business; access, capacity development, and promotion of your business.” 

Women in Business Tip 5: Don’t underestimate your value.

“Our objectives today were to learn when to negotiate but more importantly, when not to negotiate,” said Tracy Bullock of Sandler Training. “Define. Decide. Deliver. Pinpoint what your goal is before you go into a negotiation and figure out what the concessions will be on both sides of your goal. In a negotiation, charge what you are worth and focus on your behavior, attitude, and skills.”   

To show our continued commitment to women-owned businesses, BBB is hosting it’s third annual Industrious Women’s Summit, on Friday, August 21. The summit will be a virtual event, open to all women business owners and entrepreneurs, and offer a plethora of expert speakers, networking opportunities, and, of course, fun! 

“I have found more often than not, whether it is a small business or corporate setting, the women who succeed are the women who were lifted up. Oftentimes, women work so hard to get to the top, and we turn on each other. We need to really work together and not be ‘mean girls,’ support each others’ businesses, support each others’ communities, and lift each other up,” asserted Monica Villalobos, President, and CEO of Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Join us to be uplifted! 

Register here for the Industrious Women’s Summit on August 21.  

To read more from BBB, click here.