Everyone has a story to tell. And women who are thinking of starting a business – and those looking to grow – say there aren’t enough stories of real women in business out there. In our recent survey 43% said they wanted to read more experiences and case studies from ‘real’ women in business!
We can all be inspired by entrepreneurial superstars, but sometimes their accomplishments can seem overwhelming and impossible to reach. So while we’ll continue to reach for the stars here at Prowess, we want to balance that with a lot more everyday entrepreneurs. We’d like to profile women who are working for themselves, making a living and making a difference as well as high-growth dynamos. We’d like to hear about struggle as well as success; from start-ups and one-woman bands as well as those who’re firmly established and employing others. We’d like to hear from businesses in every sector: from retail, crafts, personal and professional services through to manufacturing and technology-based firms.
Every story has something to offer and will reach another woman who will identify with it and say “I can do that.”
Why share your story?
• Having a wide range of stories will be a great help and motivation for other women looking to start or grow their own business.
• It’s good for business too. If people can relate to you they’ll feel better about your business. The profile will drive traffic to your website and help improve your SEO. (You can also do this by blogging of course. If you’d rather write an article have a look at our blogging guidelines.)
Writing your story
Your story should be between 600 and 2,000 words long. Please use plain English. Write as you speak. If you have a tape-recorder, it could help to get someone to interview you, using those questions or others, and then type-up the interview afterward. Or just sit at your desk and let it pour out.
Alternatively, we provide a professional writing or ghostwriting service if you would prefer. We will interview you by email or telephone and write up the article for you, with your input and final approval. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss this option.
Sample interview questions
Pick and chose from the questions below, or make up your own!
1. First, tell us about the business. For example: What is your product or service and what need does it meet? Who are your customers? Where are you based, how long you have you been in business, what is the size of your operation?
2. About you – how would you describe yourself? What did you do before you started your business and how has that experience helped your venture? If relevant how does family fit alongside the business? What do you do to relax?
3. Why did you start your business?
4. What are your values and what role do they play in the business?
5. What are the high points?
6. What were the toughest challenges and how did you get over them?
7. Money – if you needed funding for start-up or to grow, where did you get it from and how was the process?
8. Marketing – tell us about a marketing tactic that works really well for your business? What are your main sales channels?
9. Technology – how does technology fit into the business?
10. Where do you get support from?
11. Who has inspired you and why?
12. What are your future plans or goals?
13. Three things you have learned?
14. Your best piece of advice?
All posts will be reviewed before being published and we’ll probably make a few minor tweaks. Anything more than that will be discussed with you by email and completed or approved by you before publication. In some cases it just won’t be right for Prowess. If that’s the case we will let you know and give you some helpful feedback.
We won’t accept overt commercial plugs. We want stories that are first and foremost about an individual’s business journey and the shared experiences and transferable lessons that can be gained from that. Of course your business is the context for that journey and a natural part of your story and that’s how it should read! It’s a fine line, but aim to keep it subtle! Your profile, photo and links will be promoted within the article.
Send three things to editor[at]prowess.org.uk
• Your story
• A photograph of yourself (ideally landscape size).
• Contact details you’d like included at the end of the article (eg. website, social media contacts).
Finally, if you’ve read this article and are thinking, yes I will do that – then email us right away to tell us when to expect your story. There’s nothing like a deadline to help focus the mind!