Are women business owners unique in the challenges that they face? Do they handle their challenges differently than men? Is it different being a woman business owner versus being a man business owner?
In 2004, the National Association of Women Business owners conducted a survey and found the following were the key issues facing women business owners: business marketing, growth and expansion, finances (cash flow and capital), client budgets and time management. These are the same issues that all business owners face.
How does any business owner face these challenges and thrive? If you have ever heard the joke, how do you eat an elephant – one bite at a time. This is not far from the best way to tackle business owner issues. What makes it difficult sometimes to start taking the bites is dealing with whatever the crisis of the moment is. There are plans to handle business strategy and big picture items and there is the reality of what happens when you start your day.
A few weeks ago, one woman business owner described the beginning of her day with a list of things that went wrong at home…all before she even too her shower. And, none of the items she described had anything to do with her daily business activity. If only everyone in your life, both personal and business could do everything right, never get sick or cranky and just produce, then the business owner could focus on her business. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way and we have to figure out daily how to navigate our way through the daily inconveniences and make time for the important stuff in our businesses.
What is your strategy for allowing yourself the time you need to focus on your marketing and sales activities, growing your business, growing your relationships with clients so that when they are ready to spend some money they realize you and your services are critical to their success, and improving your cash flow, so everything will run more smoothly? Do you have a strategy to make these things a priority? If you want to grow your business and studies have found that women do want to grow their business, then you must find a way to incorporate business strategy items into your day, daily.
Women majority owned businesses is the fastest growing population of business owners, yet women owned businesses are hitting the million dollar mark at half the rate that men owned businesses are. It is not that women lack the skills, abilities and/or desire to get to a million dollars but rather they may not have imagined growing their business to that level. Additionally, they question what would they have to give up in the rest of their life to get to the million dollar mark. Developing ways to delegate the work, putting strategy at the top of the list of priorities and making the time to work the plan is essential for getting the growth in your business you desire. If you are ready to make the commitment to your strategy, then you are on the path to success.