Unlocking Consistency and Focus: Strategies for Women in Business

Being a woman in business is challenging and one of the common ones we have found amongst our members is being able to maintain consistency and focus in your business.

In this blog we will look at why that is, addressing the common challenges women face in business, what impact this has on your business and what you can do to increase your consistency, productivity and focus to grow a successful business.

There is no doubt that as women we have unique challenges in business.

Woman sat at laptop with baby on her lap and child sat at her side Understanding the Challenges

Juggling our many roles

We know that the biggest challenge women face is running a business alongside family responsibilities. Women choose to run a business because it gives them the flexibility needed to work around their children. That was certainly my motivation when I started out in business 15 years ago.

As a result, our day comprises of so many tasks from household chores, school runs, homework, cooking and fitting in time in between to run our businesses.

 Lack of Support

Running a business can be lonely and isolating. This leads to overwhelm and burnout when you feel unsupported and without anyone who understands how you are feeling. It is so important for women to find a support network that works for them. That was the passion behind creating my own networking groups over 10 years ago, to provide a safe space where women were not afraid to ask for help. It just wasn’t available for me at that time.

 Internal Barriers

Self-doubt, imposter syndrome, and fear of failure sound familiar? So many of us experience this when running a business. We are the face of our business, and we can compare ourselves to others who we think have it all together and that sets of a spiral of negativity and doubt.

Time Management Issues

As women we pride ourselves on our ability to multitask, don’t we? We end up taking on too much which leads to overwhelm and burnout. We then become so busy that we find it hard to prioritise and plan effectively.

External Distractions

Many women work from home and get distracted by jobs around the house, social media scrolling, our pets, family members in the house, the list goes on. When we have a lack of structure to our day, we lose focus very easily.

We have looked at some of the challenges, what can we do to improve our consistent approach to our business and to focus on what is important to us

Woman with an abacus to one side, book at the top and clipboard to the other sideEffective Time Management

Time management is crucial for maintaining focus and consistency. Here are some techniques to help you manage your time better:

Time Blocking – Do you allocate specific time blocks for different tasks? You will know the times in your day when you can deliver your best work. So, if you are a morning person then use your mornings for creative work and writing. Ensure that the work that requires the most focus is carried out when you work at your best. Being a great multitasker means you can do many things, but the best results will come when you stay focused on one task at a time. I will admit it took me a long time to realise this and I wore my multitasker hat with immense pride for far too long.

Prioritization – Do you identify what are the most important tasks for you and your business? Structure your day based on what is most important and urgent. Look at everything you do and analyse whether it gets you the results you want.

Test and measure your activities whether that’s your sales, marketing, profitability. What can you learn from the data. If something is not working either change the way you do it or stop doing it altogether. Do you find yourself doing things because everyone else is doing them? If you are not getting any results from an activity, then please stop.

Consider outsourcing tasks in your business that you don’t like or aren’t good at. You will be surprised by how much more productive you will become when your focus is on what you enjoy doing. It can also be a more cost-effective way of working i.e. the cost to outsource can be less than what you could earn in the equivalent time it would take you to complete it. What would you love to get off your to-do list and delegate to someone else?

Setting Boundaries – This is another common challenge. Establish clear boundaries between work and personal time. Try to be fully present during your work time and the same in your family time. We know running a small business it can be difficult to switch off. However, a break and time away can help with focus. It’s finding the right balance for you. Boundaries also applies to your clients, set working hours when you will respond to client calls or emails. When you are clear with your boundaries you will not feel obliged to respond immediately to a client email out of hours and they will not expect a response.

Task Batching – Group similar tasks together. Can you batch your social media content. Having a dedicated day or half day to writing content when you are feeling motivated and inspired can produce excellent work. Batching tasks is a particularly effective use of your time and allows focus. By doing this you have also got a bank of content ready to use on the days when you are too busy to create something new or feeling uninspired.

3 women walking towards the camera with tall buildings in backgroundBuild a Support Network around you

A robust support network is vital for emotional support and practical advice. Here are ways to build and leverage your network:

Networking – Join business groups and networks like the Women’s Business Network online. Mixing in the online and offline world enables you to connect with other women in business. Leverage channels like LinkedIn, local business associations FSB or Chamber of Commerce, and industry-specific groups.

All these collectively can provide valuable connections, emotional support, and learning. At WBN we offer a full range of free and paid resources to help women to build genuine connections with like minded women in a safe supportive environment where you can learn and grow together.

Mentorship – Seek out mentors who can offer guidance, encouragement, and accountability. A mentor can help you navigate challenges and stay focused on your goals. At WBN we hold weekly accountability so you can achieve your goals, improve your consistency, and focus and we will be shortly launching mentoring programmes.

Accountability Partners – Find an accountability partner, someone with whom you can share your goals and progress regularly. This will keep you motivated and on track. I have been supporting small businesses for over 15 years, check out my Power Hour sessions or work with me on a 1-1 basis where I can offer bespoke support to help you reach your true potential and fulfil your business goals.

Community Engagement – Engage with our Free WBN community  on Facebook. In here we connect women globally, allow you to share your business offers weekly and together we celebrate our weekly wins and achievements.

Setting Clear Goals

We must set ourselves goals, if we don’t, we will struggle to maintain focus and motivation because we won’t be clear on what it is we need to be working towards

Make sure your goals are:

SMART Goals – Set Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. This framework helps ensure your goals are clear, attainable and with a timescale to meet. Break down larger goals into smaller milestones and celebrate each achievement. This provides a sense of progress and keeps you motivated.

Vision Board – Are you a visual person? Will creating a vision board help you to stay focused and clear on what you are looking to achieve. Create a vision board from pictures and words. I have done this many times over the years and the entire process of cutting out pictures and words from old magazines is a highly creative process.

Place it in a location where you can see it daily to keep your motivation high. It’s amazing to look back at old vision boards and celebrate so many things that have come to fruition too. The realisation that ahh yes, I asked for that and the universe delivered.

Regular Review – It is so important to regularly review and adjust your goals as needed. You are in control and as things evolve in your business you will make changes and that is all good.

Milestones and Rewards – don’t forget to reward yourself from time to time to keep you motivated.

Woman with long dark hair sat on grass overlooking water, sat in yoga positon in white gym pants and vestSelf-Care and Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for long-term success and well-being. Here are some self-care strategies:

Regular Breaks – Schedule regular breaks throughout your day to rest and recharge. Sitting for prolonged periods will not help your posture. Implement the Pomodoro Technique, which involves working in focused intervals (usually 25 minutes) followed by short breaks. Did you know that you can produce more productive work following this method than sitting for endless hours pushing through. The process of introducing regular breaks can enhance concentration and prevent burnout. Try it and let us know how you feel?

Delegation – Delegate/outsource tasks as we mentioned earlier. Trusting others with responsibilities can free up your time to focus on high-priority activities.

Physical Activity – We all know that exercise boosts energy levels and reduces stress, did you know it will also improve your focus? For some exercise is a non-negotiable, for others it takes a real effort and is at the bottom of the to-do list. Having a good morning routine that includes some form of exercise – stretching or a short yoga routine can be a wonderful way to start your day. Could you incorporate a short walk in between meetings or workloads.

Mindfulness Practices – Practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation and deep breathing. I started incorporating mediation into my morning routine a few years ago now and it really helps me to get my day off to the right start, to get into the right headspace and take on the day with a positive viewpoint. I have often found creative solutions for my business during meditation as you can tune into your heart and your inner wisdom to guide you.

Developing a Growth Mindset

Last month we talked about growth mindset and in our blog, we talked about how a growth mindset fosters resilience and continuous improvement. Check out our last blog and here are a few new tips to help cultivate a growth mindset:

Positive Affirmations – Use positive affirmations to build confidence and combat self-doubt. Remind yourself of your strengths and achievements regularly. Give these examples a try:

“Every small step I take brings me closer to my goals.”

“I embrace routines that foster my success and well-being.”

“Distractions do not sway me; I remain committed to my objectives.”

“My focus is my superpower, leading me to extraordinary achievements.”

“Challenges are opportunities for me to develop and improve.”

“I embrace change and am open to new ideas and innovations.”

“Every setback is a setup for a greater comeback.”

Try these or create your own that resonate with you and your goals.

Continuous Learning – Invest in continuous learning to improve your skills and stay motivated. At WBN one of our main focuses has always been to support women to increase their business knowledge. None of us started out in business knowing all there is to know. You don’t get to a point your business where you know it all because there is always something new to learn i.e. new social media channels, ways of marketing, AI is a huge change to the way we work and create content.

In our last blog we talked about stepping out of our comfort zones, learning from feedback, celebrating all our wins no matter how small and not being hard on ourselves, being open minded and curious.

Embracing Challenges – If you are new to business ownership, then I will let you into a secret the road ahead is not likely to be a straight one. There will be twists and turns in the road as you progress on your business journey. How you approach these challenges will have an impact on you and your business. As we said above none of us knew it all when we started out in business and facing challenges head on is often the best approach. Try not to bury your head and carry on regardless as this is unlikely to help you. Seek help and support from others who have faced this challenge. As women there are so many challenges that are common to us as we talked about at the start of this blog and knowing you have a place to turn in these times where you can learn from the tried and tested strategies of others is a huge comfort. It can also save you time and heartache and help you to get back on track or moving in a different direction that is going to be more conducive to success for you and your business. Embrace challenges as learning experiences and not failures. At WBN we do not believe in failures as they are all learning experiences.

clip board with writing "Digital Detox" decorative dried flower spray lay across on yellow backgroundMinimizing Distractions

We know how easy it can be to get distracted especially when you are working from home. Minimizing distractions is key to maintaining focus. Here are some strategies you can try:

Digital Detox – Limit time spent on social media and other non-essential online activities. Turn off notifications or turn your phone to silent to prevent you looking at your phone each time you hear a ‘ping’ notification.

Dedicated Workspace – Ensure you have a dedicated and uncluttered workspace. Can you create an area in your home where you are set up to work from. Working from your kitchen/dining room table can work but productivity will increase if you have a dedicated workspace.

Time Management Apps – Use time management apps like Trello or Asana to organize tasks and minimize distractions. These tools can help you stay on track and manage your workload effectively.

Routine and Consistency

Establishing a routine can provide structure and enhance consistency. Here are some tips:

Morning Routine – Start your day with a morning routine that sets a positive tone. This could include activities like exercise, meditation, or journaling. There are many books available on this topic The Miracle Morning to name one. Create a morning routine that works for you 5am is not for everyone so work out what works for you and see how you feel after 21 days.

Consistent Habits – Develop consistent daily habits that align with your business goals. For instance, dedicate time each day to reaching out to new or existing clients.

Evening Review – End your day with a review of your accomplishments and plan for the next day. This can help you stay organized and prepared and means you are ready to start again the next day.

Weekly Planning – Set aside time each week to plan and prioritize tasks for the coming days. This ensures you stay focused on your goals and maintain a clear direction.

As women we face unique challenges that can impact our consistency and focus, and it can be an ongoing battle. However, by recognising our challenges and implementing some of the strategies shared in this blog we hope you will notice your productivity and focus increase. Through our support network Womens Business Network we help you to manage your time effectively during our co-worker sessions where you dedicate 2 hours twice per month to focus on your business. By setting clear goals you can maintain focus on what is important to you.

Ensuring you have a healthy work-life balance ensures that you can be present in your business when you need and take time out to focus on your family too guilt free. We need to take care of ourselves first so we can be there for our clients and our families.

We hope you find these strategies useful for your small business. Struggling with any of the above and feel WBN could be the right place for you to gain the help and support you deserve book a free discovery call today!

Until next time… Continue being amazing!