• Women 2.0 HowTo Conference San Francisco, September 30 - October 1, 2014

10 Tips For Non-Technical Female Entrepreneurs For 2013

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My prediction for Detroit remains that by the end of 2013, the number of women in Detroit chatting about Python (not purses), Ruby on Rails (not jewels), and Stripe (not the pattern on your favorite Banana Republic miniskirt) will grow exponentially.

By Stacy Goldberg (CEO & Founder, Savorfull)

Detroit is a city of change, revitalization, innovation, growth, and leverage. “Detroit Hustles Harder” slogans are plastered on women’s chests seen walking down Woodward Avenue.

The mural in the Detroit Shoppe located across from the Compuware building states: “Detroit is like rock and roll. It’s like soul. Detroit is like the whole idea of cool. If you have to explain it to someone, they probably won’t understand. You have to see it. Live it. Be it. That’s when Detroit starts to move you.”

Launching a technology-based business in Detroit as a non-technical female founder has not only been challenging, but has transformed me forever. Besides having to teach myself how to communicate with those entrenched in the web world, I am now immersed in the tech scene in Detroit, which glaringly lacks high heels, lipstick and conversations about breast cancer prevention.

This is a man’s playground in Detroit… but changing at lightening speed, with the help of organizations such as Women 2.0, Google for Entrepreneurs, Quicken Loans and Bizdom.

My prediction for Detroit remains that by the end of 2013, the number of women in Detroit chatting about Python (not purses), Ruby on Rails (not jewels), and Stripe (not the pattern on your favorite Banana Republic miniskirt) will grow exponentially.

In at least three media interviews in 2012, I was asked how a female Nutritionist and Nurse turns CEO of a technology based company in a male dominated industry. The answer: change, revitalization, innovation, growth and leverage. Thriving entrepreneurs need all of the above to succeed in technology if they want to scale a business.

I am grateful to be pioneering with the female founders in Detroit with great ideas and the courage to build platforms where they are a minority. The number of technology-based startups are growing and thriving, especially in Detroit. Female tech founders need encouragement, empowerment, tools, resources and support to know they are not alone in their efforts.

Here are my top ten tips for non-technical female entrepreneurs for 2013:

  1. Learn to communicate with web programmers and designers before embarking on your journey. Understanding their language and platforms will make your experience more productive. If you don’t, it’s like going into a foreign country without a translation guide. Not advised.
  2. Be ready to pivot at any point in time. A new startup is like your body… continuously changing.
  3. You could work 24/7 but you will sacrifice your physical, emotional and mental health. Work smarter, not longer.
  4. Take care of yourself. Exercise daily, eat clean and “free from”, take your vitamins, practice daily yoga or meditation, hydrate and take clarity breaks.
  5. Take your time building the right team. There is nothing more important than vetting and trusting your team members.
  6. Find interns. Use an internship service (I am currently using Intern In Michigan) or local universities and for assistance.
  7. Use web-based collaboration apps for small businesses. I currently am loving Google Drive for documents, Sprout for social media management, and project management platforms Basecamp and Highrise from 37 Signals.
  8. Schedule a weekly team meeting for 60-90 minutes on the same day each week, at the same time, to ensure your all on the same page. The size of your team does not matter. Even if it’s just you and your co-founder, best friend or intern, schedule this with regularity and do not cancel, under any circumstances.
  9. Start your introductory meetings with new prospects out as conference calls rather than face-to-face meetings. This will save time and then determine if you would like to meet in person after the initial call. In many situations, you will eliminate the need to do so, or you may accelerate the pace of the next meeting by speaking via phone first.
  10. Have fun and love what you do. Passion is of the utmost importance and waking up everyday to build a growth-oriented company will be much easier if you love what you do.

It is my honor, and pleasure to be one of the first featured speakers at Founder Friday in Detroit, sponsored by Google for Entrepreneurs and Women 2.0. Sharing my Savorfull story with my girlfriends in the D-tech scene and building this network is not only critical but hopefully a catalyst for the many females contemplating the launch of a tech based business in one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest. Just be ready to hustle harder… in heels.

Women 2.0 readers: What are your tips for starting up as an entrepeneur? Let us know in the comments below.

About the guest blogger: Stacy Goldberg is the CEO and Founder of Savorfull, a company that delivers healthy, “free from” food samples, recipes & nutrition tips to member’s doorsteps monthly. Based in Detroit, Savorfull is part of the Bizdom/Quicken Loans Family of Companies. Stacy holds a master’s degree in public health human nutrition, and is a registered nurse with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, both from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Follow her on Twitter at @stacygoldberg.