5 Killer Lessons from Canada's Top Female Entrepreneurs

To mark International Women's Day, we've gathered the best advice from past W100 winners

Written by PROFIT staff

The best female entrepreneurs in Canada are smart, savvy, shrewd and—thankfully—more than happy to offer advice. Their experiences are a primer to anyone, male or female, who hopes to replicate their considerable business achievements. And so, to celebrate International Women’s Day, here are some of the best tips from alumni of our W100 Ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, which is celebrating its 18th anniversary in 2016:

(Nominate yourself—or an amazing woman you know€“for the W100 ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs now!)

1. The rainmaker

Shannon Rogers, who, as president of Vancouver-based digital message archive provider Global Relay, has topped the W100 three times (in 2011, 2014 and 2015), is a sales wunderkind who once signed up 12 new clients in a single day. Here’s her winning approach to closing deals:

“I don’t think of it as a sales process. We’re educating the customer.”

MORE: Secrets of a Rainmaker »

2. The multitasker

Kelsey Ramsden was running three different businesses when she took the No. 1 spot on the 2013 W100—her second consecutive appearance at the top of the list. She was also raising three small children and recovering from a life-altering battle with cancer. Here’s just one of the tactics she uses to avoid wasting even a minute of her valuable time:

“I’ve learned to be responsive on my own term. That sounds selfish, but I’m OK with that because I used to live my life answering email requests. Now, I set clear boundaries for my time and communicate those boundaries in a way that’s respectful and responsible.”

MORE: The Time-Management Secrets of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneur »

3. The motivator

Gabrielle Chevalier took the No. 1 spot on the 2010 W100, in large part because her business—Mississauga-based video-game distributor Solutions 2 Go—found a way to offer clients better service on incredibly tight timelines. And doing that required serious employee engagement:

“If we didn’t have every single person in this office working at a 200% level during that time, we couldn’t pull it off.”

MORE: How to Build a Market Leader »

4. The stigma buster

Lois Cormack of Ontario long-term care provider Sienna Senior Living took the No. 3 spot on the 2015 W100, and much of her company’s success has come from making an experience that is often unpleasant for seniors—moving into assisted living—as welcoming as possible:

“It’s about erasing the stigma. Nobody wants to go to a long-term care home… Our social services workers work with patients and their families to make it as welcoming as possible.”

Read more: How to do Good in a Stigmatized Sector

5. The giant slayers

The four women behind Mabel’s Labels—which was recently acquired by Toronto-based CCL Industries—were W100 mainstays for years, in large part because of their ability to offer a unique product and cultivate a deeply loyal customer base. In 2012, they told us how the achieved one of the biggest coups a smaller company can ever achieve: getting products on the shelves at Wal-Mart. Co-founder Julie Cole explained the logistical legwork required to secure the deal:

“It was as if we were starting a second company.”

MORE: Wowing Wal-Mart »

Find out more about the PROFIT/Chatelaine W100 Ranking of Canada’s Top Female Entrepreneurs, and nominate yourself or someone you know, here!

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com