Top tips from Women Entrepreneurs Showcase, by Cara Rynerson, Basel Bagels

7 Tips for Solo-preneurs


Starting a small catering business in Basel, Switzerland has been a great experience for me. Like many other people I have met here, I have taken the opportunity to recreate myself. That meant a two-year stint as President of the American Women’s Club of Basel and a critical look at my (lack of) home-making skills. Having a close network of friends and a wider network of acquaintances has made the past four years more dynamic than any other period in my adult life.

Recently, I had the extreme fortune of attending and participating in an Entrepreneur Showcase presented by the Professional Women’s Group of Basel. It was much more than I had expected. The information was so pointed, useful, timely… I feel I have to share it.

It’s fair to say that anyone, no matter how young or mature his or her business, could benefit from a quick glance at this list.

1. Know Your Why

As Kirstin Barton once offered in a PWG Entrepreneurs’ session, you need to know: WHY am I doing this; Why AM I doing this; Why am I doing this; Why am I DOING this, Why am I doing THIS? My list of “whys” is on the first page of my working notebook.

2. Set Goals

Cordelia pointed out that setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals are the key to staying focused. As an Entrepreneur, sometimes it feels like you are always working. Your goals keep you focused on progress, not just busy work.

3. Know Yourself, Your Competition, and Your Target Client

This “tip” could easily be the topic of a lecture series. Anita summed it up beautifully. Define what sets you apart and be honest about what you need from your business. Research your competition thoroughly. Identify whom you want as your client. Now the real question: Why will your target client choose you and your business instead of your competition?

4. Invest in Yourself

Every presenter gave an example of this, highlighting how important it really is. Maybe you need to take a course or gain a certification. Hiring a coach to support you through a difficult time can be a good investment as well. Some Entrepreneurs find dedicating time to his or her physical, spiritual, or emotional health a worthy investment.

5. Take Pride in a Job Well Done

Carry your business cards and have a concise, positive, confident answer when someone enquires, “What do you do?” If you produce a product, post photos on your website and keep them in your phone to show potential clients. Don’t be afraid to ask your clients for a written recommendation (just a sentence or two) to post on your website or in brochures.

6. Identify Opportunities

Have the courage to make changes when needed. Constantly evaluate and re-evaluate to identify bad decisions, new weaknesses, and market opportunities. It is ill advised to change too much or too often. However, if “it seemed like a good idea at the time” but isn’t working out to the benefit of your business, take action before too much damage is done.

7. Get & Stay Organized

Pia clearly outlined 5 key factors for her success, one of which is to stay organized, especially in your internal and external communications. It is very important to present a consistent message to your clients, vendors, partners, and team.  Answer emails, voicemails and notices as quickly as possible. Provide regular updates on the status of projects.

I would like to add joining an established network like Professional Women’s Group, Rotary Club, or Chamber of Commerce can have a positive impact on your business. Try it… you might like it.


A massive thank you to Cara Rynerson from Basel Bagels for taking the time to write this and share it.



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