Tips From Women Biz Owners Who Are Killin’ It

Lady Boss. Chief Executive Woman. Babes In Business. No matter the title or industry, there’s more than enough reasons to celebrate the Wonderwomen of work on International Women’s Day.

Who run the world? According to a recent study by American Express OPEN, there are 11.6 million women-owned businesses nationwide, employing nearly 9 million people and generating more than $1.7 trillion in revenue. Gaining perspective from our neighbours up north, majority women-owned SMEs represented over $117 billion per annum of economic activity in Canada. 47% of these SME’s are entirely or partially owned by women.

At Yelp, we have the privilege of hearing and seeing success stories from local business owners every day. And in the spirit of breaking the glass ceiling (not raising the roof), we’re sharing some success stories from the field — a short compilation of business advice collected by 5-star women business owners over the past couple of years, including our number one US business in Yelp’s Top 100 List for 2018.

Value Your Customers:

Athena’s famous cookies at TKB Bakery & Deli

New customers are called “Virgins” and every one of them gets one of Athena’s famous cookies for free. Athena says, “It’s goodwill. It brings people back. What’s the cost to me? It doesn’t matter because when they get in the car and leave they are still talking about that cookie. It makes them feel appreciated. They should feel appreciated. We appreciate them.”

What happens if you get a one-star review on Yelp? “These are my customers giving me feedback. If I don’t listen, I shouldn’t be in business.” — Athena and Melina Sippel, TKB Bakery & Deli 

Keeping It Real… Local:

Peg Leg Vintage’s College Park storefront

“Ultimately, we decided to bring true meaning to the “local business” label. We not only have a store in College Park, but we are residents as well! While we always felt like College Park and Prince George’s County had a lot of potential, we also felt like they were lacking in some ways. As consumers and residents, we struggled to find a broad range of local businesses to support and commiserated with other residents who felt the same way.” — Kristi Hora, Peg Leg Vintage

Fill a Need:

Monique from Alchemy’s henna design

“I created Alchemy to encourage us all to embrace elements of a Slow Living lifestyle: create real, robust connections with each other, our community and our own narrative. Our message is that self-care isn’t selfish.

It’s a point of pride that Alchemy is the only studio in Michigan dedicated to offering henna body art. We are synthetic-free and plant-based. Our boutique offers niche natural fragrances and heritage-inspired skin care.” — Monique Herzig, Alchemy Slow Living Studio 

Having Fun with Feedback:

Super secret back entrance for Escape This

“Customers take an active role in helping us shape our business. In addition to soliciting feedback and ideas during each game debrief, we also tap customers to test our new games. They get the opportunity to not only play the game first, but to provide specific feedback on game flow, individual puzzles and ways to improve the game overall.” — Renee Thomas, Escape This

Pursue Things You Know and Love:

Bunup’s mobile catering

“My husband and I were born and raised in a small Jamaican town in central Jamaica called Mandeville. Eating street food in Jamaica is something we do almost everyday, and jerk is one of the most popular things to eat when in JA.

When we started our first Montreal business it was a café, run by all Jamaican partners, and so we wanted to bring a Jamaican flair to the café.” — Teresa Commock, Evaton Bunup

The Basics:

Famous avocado toast from Farm & Haus

“When starting a business, put the emphasis on making money and not spending it… Don’t buy into the lie that everything has to be perfect before you launch your business. Your branding, marketing, and even your product will evolve and change as you go. Just get started…” — Brittany Lyne, Farm & Haus

Words of wisdom from just some of a few women business owners who are killin’ it in the US and Canada. Show some appreciation today (and every day) to the local ladies in business that you know and love on Yelp! Better yet, go visit them IRL and spend some of your own hard-earned dough at their storefront. That’s the biggest compliment of all.