Seven steps to becoming a CEO

Today, there is an increase in small business startups with a focus on technology. There are a few things that entrepreneurs may miss while building the foundations of their new businesses. The YWCA Metropolitan Chicago is a great resource in getting information to start, grow and build your business. The YWCA hosts events every second Saturday in the Woodland Area from 11 am-1 pm. You can request a consultation with the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago in conjunction with The Illinois Small Business Development Center.

So how do you build a business like a CEO?

  1. Create a unique name that ties into your product or service.
  2. Decide what business entity you want, i.e. (LLC, 501c3, SCorp, C-Corp)
  3. Apply for your EIN and DUNS number for building business credit.
  4. Technology is critical; create social media accounts to build brand awareness. Depending on your product or service, you can build your brand on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest or even through a blog. This helps to show credibility. Also, consider developing an app for your growing business.
  5. Create a clear business plan and marketing strategy. As a CEO, having both a business plan and a marketing strategy are important factors that lead to success. If you do not have an idea of who your target market is, you are essentially throwing money out the door. Do a test run of your marketing campaign and use a timeline for the launch. Sample business plans and assistance are available through the Small Business Administration (
  6. Have systems in place to assist in making sales and building your customer list.  Mailchimp is a great email service to manage customer information and Leadpages is a great resource to collect sales leads and build your landing page.
  7. Have a growth plan for your business. Create a campaign and give it 90 days. If you want to be successful. You should review your campaign to see what works and how to tweak things that do not. Use this as a map to achieve specific goals and implement them on the next launch.
  8. Just like a business plan, you need to have an exit strategy. If the economy goes into recession, can your business handle the stress, and will your company have the financial capacity to take any hits.       Look at the pros and cons and make a decision that is best for your company.
  9. Advisor or coaching can be the secret sauce to your journey as the CEO. Most CEO’s have advisors and board members. Having another person’s perspective and guidance can be helpful in providing direction as a new business owner.

The YWCA Metropolitan Chicago Economic Empowerment workshops held every 2nd Saturday are located at the Woodlawn Resource Center, 6144 South Grove Ave. Chicago, IL 60637.


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