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5 Tips for Entrepreneurs Starting a Business

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By Linda Descano, CFA®, President and CEO, Women & Co. and Managing Director and Head of Digital Partnerships, North America Marketing, Citi

Linda Kempkin had a vision to help women entrepreneurs quickly secure a strong Internet presence for their new businesses. She achieved her goal with the successful launch of BoostMyWebTraffic. We thought it would be helpful to know what lessons she would share with readers who may be thinking about making the leap to entrepreneurship.

Linda had 5 recommendations:

Your "teams" may be primarily external now rather than internal, but that doesn't mean you're all alone. Partner with talented and smart people who extend what you can offer to your clients and find ways to fill a similar role for them. It's a win-win for all parties. It gives you additional strength, extends your reach, and provides a lot of support to tackle the challenges--in addition to helping you win new engagements.

Establish a great LinkedIn profile and keep it current. This may be the first place people look to learn more about you. LinkedIn is not just for job seekers -- anyone who wants to work with you, for you, or retain you for your expertise will probably look you up here. Your LinkedIn profile also offers you more flexibility and control over your personal brand than writing a résumé.

Plan to attend at least three networking events a month and think outside the box. People who may not need what you do could be a potential client for someone else in your network. At my last Chamber of Commerce meeting, I surfaced a fabulous opportunity for one of my clients. Listen carefully, connect the dots and make introductions that will help others.

Don't just think of your network as a source for new business leads. Reach out and ask your contacts for solutions to your growing business' needs and challenges. People are eager to help -- even clients who are also entrepreneurs, because they've "been there."

Go back to school -- it's imminently worth it. With so many options available today for online and distance learning "yes, you can" fit it into your schedule. It's a lot more affordable, there's no commute and you may even qualify for a tax credit. But most of all it gives you fresh relevancy that distinguishes your business as well as your résumé from your competition.

For more insights from other enterprising women check out the Your Career page on womenandco.com.

About the Author:
Linda is President and CEO of Women & Co., a service of Citi that brings women relevant financial content and thoughtful commentary. She also serves as a Managing Director and Head of Digital Partnerships for North America Marketing at Citi. A recognized expert on the topic of personal finance, Linda is also the featured contributor on womenandco.com and Manilla.com, for which she serves as their women and money expert. Her writing, tips and commentary have appeared in countless publications including: The Huffington Post, MORE Magazine, American Banker and MSN Money, to name a few. She is the recipient of a 2011 Luminary Award from Womensphere® and was the New York recipient of the 2009 Corporate w2wlink Ascendancy Award.