Women are flocking to entrepreneurship. And I understand the reasons why. The corporate rat race offers us less pay than our male counterparts, too short maternity leaves, not enough flexibility, and a need to marry the company in order to move up. It requires us to pay a price many of us are unwilling to fork out.
And so we flock to www.sba.gov and start those businesses. We launch with the desire to finally have the freedom to order our lives the way we desire.
BUT… is it really the magic answer to all of your life’s desires?
Womanable just published their 2016 State of Women Owned Business Report. Here’s the good news:
- Women owned business increased by 45% compared to the nation wide number of 7%
- Women owned business revenue increased by 35% compared to the nationwide average of 27%. This marks an important change in the trend. In the past, we were creating more businesses, but the revenue didn’t match. Great job laides!
- An average of 983 women owned business were started every day from 2012-2014. While this is an awesome number, it does represent a dip from years past.
- Women owned business is getting more diverse. 79% of new women owned firms are started by women of color.
This is truly an exciting time to be in business. In years past when I would read statistics about women in business it read more like this. Women are starting businesses at a faster rate than any other group. But most are small and not hiring employees. Most are under funded. And by the way, they aren’t really making much money.
I’m proud of us for changing the story. The truth is that women owned business is much more important to our global economy than just bringing in dollars. It’s about what we do with those dollars that truly changes the world. We give back. We empower the next generation. When we create financial independence, we look around and see who else we can bring with us. It’s time to celebrate, and make our next move.
Here’s 4 things women owned business should do to step into the next level of success and contribution.
- Can we put an end to dabbling? As I was reading the report I couldn’t help but wonder, what would happen if they took out all of the numbers of women who are working when it’s convenient, when they feel like it, and as long as it’s easy? Dabbling in business will NEVER create the freedom you are looking for. So if you’re going to be in, do yourself a favor and be all in!
- Get better at Masterminding, networking, and mentoring. Notice I didn’t say start. I said get better. The truth is we do all of these things, but we tend to do them differently than our male counterparts. We mastermind, network, and mentor for a source of friendship, belonging, to share ideas and find a sense of synergy and belonging in our communities. Men use these tools to get ahead. In companies with mentoring programs, data shows that men are much more likely to ask their mentor to put them in for a promotion than women. Let’s connect with a greater purpose.
- Focus on creating a business that does more than provide a personal income. Often times when I meet women business owners, I still hear fear around running and managing a big business. I understand this one too. I am guilty of putting the breaks on my growth because of the demands of running my family. (5 kids, can you blame me?) But what if we thought differently from the beginning? What if we set out to build a business that had employees, and staff and was hugely profitable? I think sometimes we get confused about balance being related to business size. My clients making under 100,000 a year, are quite often the ones working the hardest. Shoot big enough that you have all the help you need in running your company.
- Run our businesses from the numbers AND the heart. I love all my clients, male and female. But let’s be honest, I think every woman owned business has made some decision because we felt like it and not because the numbers made sense on paper. I’ve seen clients over pay because they know that a mom is single and struggling to pay the bills. I’ve seen clients underprice their services and not be profitable because they are trying to make their services accessible to an underserved population. I love that we run our businesses from the heart. Let’s just make sure we are truly protecting our company by watching the numbers as we lead with heart!
Ladies, we are doing great things in the market place. Let’s keep this up! I’m hosting a 2 day online seminar for Women Business Owners who are committed to business growth. Save the date for April 28,29! Watch your emails for a formal invitation next month!