Woman to Woman: Beauty Education CEO Flavia Leal’s Top 5 Business Tips for Founders

Flavia Leal knows what it’s like to navigate the world of founding a business as a woman. She is the founder of Flavia Leal Beauty School, which offers beauty education opportunities to women of all backgrounds and operates several locations, and her own cosmetics brand.

A true success story, Leal emigrated to the US from her native Brazil in 2000 with very few resources and no business role models. Today, she has a chain of beauty schools and cosmetics lines. Moreover, she also travels to events across America and Europe as a motivational speaker.

Leal is well-versed in the issues that arise as a woman makes her way in the business world. Here are her five best tips for female company founders.

Progress not perfection

Leal knows from experience that starting a company is scary, especially when you don’t have the safety net of a partner’s second income or a family’s financial support should things go wrong. It’s also scary to think that you might fall short of your goal and disappoint yourself.

Leal reminds her fellow female founders that every entrepreneur has felt this fear; that’s normal and healthy. “You are leaping into the unknown and trusting that your talent and dedication will lead you to success; it’s a brave move and one that should be applauded,” said Leal.

She noted that every day you should aim to progress toward your goals and that every step need not be executed flawlessly. “Just keep moving forward, one step at a time. For example, sign the lease, create the website, and hire the contractor. Don’t get caught up in the idea that every move has to be perfect,” she advised.

Find a network

Founding a business is exciting but can be lonely and isolating. You have no co-workers, and you are working long hours. Do you know who will understand every struggle? A network of other entrepreneurs.

Leal suggests joining a local business council, making friends with other local female founders, and attending entrepreneurial networking events. If you don’t have time to participate in live events, you can join an online community of founders that provide the same guidance, brainstorming, and support.

You might be surprised how much you have in common with other founders, even if their industry is entirely different from your own.

You can’t do it all

Remember that no matter how amazing you are, once your business begins to scale, you won’t be able to do everything independently. This is a difficult piece of advice for many do-it-all, detail-minded female founders, but you need to start delegating, and the earlier you begin, the easier it will be.

Find the person you trust most on your team, and slowly delegate small managerial tasks to them. Then, as both of you become more comfortable, begin to trust that you can look to others to do things right, and you don’t have to do every single task to ensure it’s done right.

Delegating frees you up to do the tasks that no one else can do for your business: brainstorming your next great project, speaking to investors, and making strategic business decisions.

Never stop learning

Today, more than ever, the business world is ever-evolving. From new trends to the latest technology, staying on top is essential to keep your business visible and relevant to customers.

For example, if all of your clients suddenly start using TikTok, you better be sure that you have a presence there and that the content is on-brand. For me, in beauty, not only do I need to stay on top of business trends, but I need to attend ongoing classes on hair and beauty trends to keep my clients and students happy and my services up to date. So many industries are like that,” said Leal.

Grab a lifeline

Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your employees, peers, partner, family, or friends. Most people understand how challenging it is to get a new enterprise off the ground and would be happy to lend a hand.

As your networking group for feedback on your latest ideas, post questions in online forums, ask your neighbors if you need the best interior designer in town, or know which internet company provides the best service in your location.

If you are uncomfortable asking those around you, consider hiring a business coach or consultant to give you professional advice.

About Flavia Leal

Flavia Leal, Founder of the Flavia Leal Beauty School, is an award-winning instructor, serial entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. For more information, please visit: https://www.flavialeal.com/