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Top tips for running your own business from business entrepreneur Claire Fenner

Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of these ladies who launch? Heels and Deals founder Chris Fenner gives us her top 10 tips on how to turn a start-up idea into a thriving business.

1. Plan for success – create a business plan and amend it on an ongoing basis to focus on goals and strategies.

2. Research doesn’t have to be expensive – hold focus groups and send questionnaires to potential customers.

3. Marketing – don’t have the “we’ve built it, they will come” attitude. It’s never that easy.

4. Include networking in your marketing plan – it brings referrals, new opportunities and peer relationships.

5. Find a mentor – learn from the experiences and wisdom of a respected industry professional.

6. Don’t be scared of competition – it tells you that some of your target market already understands your product or service.

7. Never get complacent – continue to innovate to stay ahead of the competition.

8. Financial planning – add 10 percent to your expense budget for the “unexpected”; also, service businesses should plan for late and non-payments. Not all clients are good clients.

9. Build a solid support network – entrepreneurial life can be challenging so you’ll need support from friends, family and peers.

10. There is no more 9 to 5! You’ll also have to put in a lot of hours, especially in the early days.

Claire Fenner is the founder of Heels and Deals, an international network for entrepreneurs and women in business.