Boss Lady

The future of business is female


There’s never been a better time to be a woman in business. Companies are placing more value on gender equality than ever — embracing feminism is simply good business. According to the International Monetary Fund, countries could increase their gross domestic product by as much as 30% if only they allowed for a higher participation of women in the work force.

Being a feminist in business in 2017 is as much about being values driven as it is about searching for the best talent and understanding key demographics.

Find your cause

Get started by finding a cause close to your heart. Shopping ethically doesn’t stop at whether a product is locally made or environmentally friendly – part of being an active and values driven participant in feminist culture means putting your money where your mouth is when it comes to supporting ethical, feminist companies. Whether you’re shopping for beer, clothing or even feminine hygiene products, there’s a feminist company out there waiting for you.

Research organisations and networks

Find your tribe online and immerse yourself in your community’s feminist network. Are you a fledgling filmmaker? Join your local chapter of WIFT (Women In Film and Television). Industries in which women and other marginalised gender identities are at an employment disadvantage will often be supported by a number of organisations or networks dedicated to helping women find their feet, and find employment in the field.

Finding a mentor might seem like an impossible task, but bearing in mind that there are more women than men running businesses in the 33-45 year old age bracket, there are women out there with the knowledge and experience of the early days of business ownership that will be willing to help you out. To make things easier, networking drinks have gone digital! Join a Facebook group such as Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine, where over 30,000 women collaborate, commiserate and support one another in business.

Girl bosses/CEOs you need to know

Get some inspiration from female role models killing it in business. There are plenty on Australian shores – Jo Horgan founded Mecca Brands, now the umbrella company behind Mecca Cosmetica and Kit Cosmetics in 1997 with a single South Yarra concept store. Today, the company brings in over $100 million annually, with 67 stores nationally and 20 more planned this year.

More and more women are kicking goals in tech. London based Jessi Baker has been using her PHD in coding to change the way we understand the supply chains of food, objects, and clothing, helping suppliers and consumers ensure the ethical origins of products. She launched her NGO, Provenance, receiving £1m in seed funding and will be tracking the activities of fish and fisheries in South East Asia.

Essential/first steps to start your business

Got an idea for a feminist business and don’t know where to start? Do your research. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s by registering as a business under the structure that works best for you. A Pty Ltd company registration will protect your personal assets from most legal claims. Take copyright into considering and run your new business name via IP Australia – once you have the all-clear, hit the ground running by registering your new domain. Write a business plan, structure your budget and revenue model, and stay passionate.

Branding is everything. Invest a portion of seed funds into establishing a clear, consistent and purposeful visual brand. Engage the services of a graphic designer – it’s worth it. Make sure your suppliers are value aligned with your business to protect your brand’s reputation. Get a good service level agreement in place to ensure you’re delivered exactly what you require.

Ways to market e.g creating meaningful content

Developing a content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be intimidating. Start by identifying your objectives. Be specific and measurable – ‘expand the business’ is too broad and top line a goal. Narrow down – think ‘increase brand awareness’ or ‘increase lead generation’.

Determine what can help you achieve these goals – this means identifying conversions. What is it that will trigger customers to respond to your content? This means understanding who your customers are. Be as specific as you can identifying your target audience. What are their needs and concerns? What platforms do they prefer to consume content on, and in what format? Do they follow specific influencers?

With this in mind, you’re ready to create and promote your content with a combination of paid and organic distribution. Keep your brand values in mind when creating content and ensure your visual brand is consistent.

As your business grows, your approach needs to grow with it. As you shift into new markets, keep refining your branding and marketing strategy. Handle growth and expansion with care, and watch your values driven business flourish.

Through research of business models and marketing strategies and of course inspiration, you’ll be well placed to launch a successful business. Keep your values close to your chest, support other women in business, and ask for help when you need it. Your girl gang can help you out!

Keep these tips with you at all times:

  1. Stay passionate. Believe in your business and don’t be afraid to show people your values.
  2. Never stop learning because after all, knowledge is power.
  3. Stay hungry. Keep raising the bar as you reach your goals and you’ll be bringing in the wins.

About Katie Ford

I'm Katie Ford an Aussie gal who’s always on the move. Connoisseur of travel and food and an avid supporter of female entrepreneurs staying ahead of the business game. I write words to pay the bills. Follow me on Twitter

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