In this piece in Inc., Cloth & Paper’s founder, Ashley Reynolds explains how she used social commerce to grow her stationery business during the pandemic. The company leverages social media platforms to share instructional videos that show viewers how best to use their journals and planners. While they predominantly sell products on Shopify, they have seen a growing trend of customers now buying directly from Instagram and Facebook. Click the link above to read more!
Studies over time have found that when women step into executive roles at a company (CEO, CFO, director, etc), the company will experience an increase in profitability – in one study that increase was 15%. On NPR’s Planet Money podcast The Indicator, this reality is explored with Professor Corinne Post, a professor of management at the Villanova School of Business. One of the interesting findings in Professor Post’s research was that “after women were appointed to top executive positions, two things happened. A management team’s tendency to take risks dropped by between 13 to 14%, and then their willingness to become more innovative – their openness to new ideas – that increased by about 10%.” To hear more about the research and a discussion on the topic, listen to “The Indicator” podcast.
While small businesses definitely took a hit over the past 20 months of a pandemic-impacted world, being small did provide a few advantages. When it comes to determination and the ability to pivot quickly, small businesses often leave large corporations in the dust. This recent piece from Forbes is a compilation of the best small business stories of the year. This piece includes a look at “How Andrea Jung, Lisa Mensah And Women Over 50 Are Safeguarding Small Businesses” as well as a look at how the pandemic actually spawned over 4 million new businesses in “Covid’s Entrepreneur Explosion”.
This article from Inc. highlights the concept of the 70-20-10 rule. The meaning behind this rule is that with whatever you are working to produce – be it something artistic or a product or a service – 70 percent of your attempts will be mediocre, 20 percent will be poor, and 10 percent will be amazing. The key takeaway is that the only way to get better at something isn’t to sit and stare at the blank piece of paper waiting for the perfect idea or to try to research every last thing before starting, but rather to roll up your sleeves and do it! The more you try, the more results you will end up having in that 10% amazing bucket!
In this piece in Entrepreneur from December 2016, founder and CEO of WordSmithRapport, Karima J. Mariama-Arthur (who is also an eCornell program facilitator!) shared three challenges of entrepreneurship. While the article is a few years old, her words still ring true to entrepreneurs today. Mariama-Arthur states that fear, distractions and work ethic are the three biggest hurdles. If anything, those hurdles are even more present during the past year of navigating COVID!
While published in late March (which seems like *more* than only a few months ago) this article in Entrepreneur highlights ten important items to consider as your are navigating how to keep your small business afloat during this challenging time. While you may have already addressed many of these items, it is still a useful list to skim through.
Despite women owning 40% of all the businesses in the U.S., in 2018, less than 2 percent of women-owned businesses generated more than $1 million in sales (and that percentage is even lower when you only look at women of color). This article in Entrepreneur explores ten common mistakes that include: trying to do it all yourself, not spending enough time working with mentors and coaches, lack of a cash runway and not understanding the scalable aspects of the business.
In this 9/20/19 article in Fast Company, seven female leaders reflect on situations where the mistakes they made taught them lessons that influenced their leadership and their future careers.
Failure is all part of the entrepreneurial process. But how do we move forward after we stumble? This NPR TED Radio Hour podcast on “Setbacks” includes comments from entrepreneur Leticia Gasca who was a co-founder of the movement “F***up Nights” which provided a place for entrepreneurs to stand on stage, share stories of failure and find a community that understood the process.