6 Community + Self-Care Practices For Small Business Owners

6 Community + Self-Care Practices For Small Business Owners

May is Small Business Month and it’s the perfect time to recognize small business owners‘ incredible contributions to their communities — and how they benefit from community support in return. I had the opportunity to sit down with our friends Stephanie Cartin (Co-founder, Entreprenista) and Jenny Shum (General Manager, Chase Ink) to discuss how female small business owners can thrive in entrepreneurship this month (and beyond!), and their advice was invaluable.

Read on for their tips and thoughts on the power of community, recognition, and support for female-owned businesses.

Invest In Your Network

Image via Entreprenista

Through initiatives like Entreprenista and B+C’sSelfmade, it’s easier than ever to join a network of like-minded business owners. The real power, however, comes from investing in those relationships. Stephanie notes that “You don’t have to do it alone and you do not have to know everything from day one when you start your business. There are a tremendous amount of resources and support available. The best thing you can do is surround yourself with a community that will help you — and be open to receiving their guidance and support.”

We couldn’t agree more: building such bonds will translate to creating meaningful connections that can last well into the future, and help you succeed along the way.

Know What Resources Are Available To You

When it comes to resources, Jenny suggests leveraging Chase’s financial expertise and resources, which include education, coaching, and banking solutions. She explains that “We understand it’s very difficult to find resources. No one gets a handbook that says this is exactly what you need to do to get started, especially for minority-owned and women-owned businesses. The infrastructure and systems in place may not be robust, or you might not have the right network of people who have experience starting businesses, so we [at Chase Ink] are very focused on being part of the community.”

Develop A Support System

Image via Entreprenista

Whether it’s reaching out to other female business owners or finding a mentor who can offer advice and guidance, having a solid support system is invaluable when starting and running a business. Stephanie emphasizes “The world of entrepreneurship is so multifaceted; it touches all geographies and all industries. And because of this, it’s the perfect vehicle for furthering female empowerment. The more women entrepreneurs there are, the farther reaching our influence and representation can go. The reality is there are still a lot of doors closed to women in many industries — tech, healthcare, real estate, and finance, to name a few — but if more women are encouraged to enter entrepreneurialism, then they can pave new paths to innovation and impact in these spaces.”

Streamline Your Operations

Taking the time to streamline and automate your business processes not only saves you time and money but also allows you to focus on other aspects of your business. Jenny recommends seeking out services that can reduce paperwork and help simplify operations so that you can focus on pursuing your passions and the things that matter to you the most. “Small businesses are very complex. They’re not all the same. They all have unique circumstances and they all serve different segments of customers. Our goal [at Chase Ink] is to understand business owners at a very personal level, what needs they have, and how to best deliver a portfolio of products and services that best suit the needs of businesses at any stage of their journey.”

Take Time To Balance Business And Self-Care

Image via Entreprenista

Striking the right balance between work and life outside of it can be a challenge, but it’s essential for your mental health and success. Stephanie notes “Being able to delegate in business and my personal life has been key. I am very clear about what my strengths are and where my time should be spent and I am also very aware of what I am not great at. I spend my time doing the things I am great at and enjoy and delegate things that I am not great at and that someone can do much better than I can do and more efficiently.”

Recognize Your Achievements

Taking time to celebrate your successes, big and small, is an important part of your business journey. Find ways to highlight your hard work, whether it’s through awards programs like Entreprenista’s Entreprenista 100, presented by Chase Ink, or simply taking time to pause and appreciate what you’ve achieved.

Stephanie drives home the importance of this for female business owners in particular. “The number of women entrepreneurs is increasing worldwide, however, recognition is still lacking. Women own nearly half of the businesses in the U.S., raking in trillions of dollars and employing millions of people, and yet, many women continue to face significant obstacles when it comes to starting and scaling their own businesses. We created The Entreprenista 100 Awards, presented in partnership with Chase Ink, to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the extraordinary achievements of female entrepreneurs and help to elevate the women-led entrepreneurial community. We know firsthand how winning awards can help accelerate business growth and credibility, and we are thrilled to be able to help propel these businesses forward.”

It’s no surprise to us that female entrepreneurs face unique challenges when it comes to starting and running their businesses, but now more than ever we also have tremendous potential and access to resources that can help us succeed. If you’re a woman business owner, remember to leverage your network, and with the right support system in place, your small business is sure to shine!

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Header image via Entreprenista