The White House Council on Women and Girls released a report in 2012 that states:
Today, more than ever before, women are playing a central role in the American economy. Women now make up nearly 50% of our workforce, are a growing number of breadwinners in their families, and are the majority of students in our colleges and graduate schools. American women own 30% of small businesses, which generate $1.2 trillion a year in sales.” The report goes on to state “The statistics are very clear: The success of American women is critical for the success of American families and the American economy.
Not only are women excelling in the workforce and in education, many are leaving the corporate world for entrepreneurship. They are looking for more freedom and flexibility of time so that they can have more of a work-life balance. Owning a business also gives women entrepreneurs a sense of more purpose and meaning, which stretches them personally. In some ways there is less to lose now than 10 or 20 years ago when corporations provided job security, full health care coverage and a generous pension. Those days are long gone.
Instead of looking at the negatives in the job market, let’s look at the up side and the opportunity for women entrepreneurs today. Many women-owned businesses are home-based or launched from home with low start-up costs by leveraging today’s technology. Business owners can market themselves on the web, host blogs and webinars to provide rich content to their potential clients, meet with customers who live miles away via Google Hangout, Skype or Go To Meeting, and sell merchandise to people around the world on e-commerce sites. This lowers the overhead cost of a physical store or office, travel and traditional marketing strategies.
Not only this, but there are huge opportunities for women entrepreneurs. The National Women’s Business Council is a federal advisory council created to work with the President, Congress and the SBA on issues of importance to women in business. Their goal is to promote programs and policy that supports women enterprises at all stages. The Association of Women’s Business Centers provides women business owners with support and services, including securing rounds of venture capital. The National Association for Female Executives offers discounted services, equipment and moral support to women in business. All of these organizations offer a wealth of knowledge and resources for women to start up their businesses, attain capital and find government contracts. Another great resource for women in business is eWomen Network. eWomen Network is a network of women in business with 118 chapters in the U.S and Canada. They provide opportunities to grow enterprises through marketing initiatives, seminars and business meetings and their Success Institute.
With all of these resources and the nature of the job market, there is no reason why women should fear stepping out into their own enterprises. Sure, there are great risks in any business, but there are risks in working for someone else as well. The rewards in owning your own business are so vast. If you’d like to get more information on starting or sustaining your business, check out the resources that were listed in this article. For Internet marketing help, email me. I’d love to help you grow your business!
Women are hard working, heart-centered, conscious thinkers, great at planning, organizing, processing and systemizing, deeply committed and passionate. We have an innate ability to tap into what our customers’ needs are and we are often very skilled at listening to them with a caring ear. We have a strong dedication to servicing them and being in touch with what they need.
Women are also highly skilled, trained and educated in many fields. If you aspire to join the ranks of women entrepreneurs, there is so much opportunity for you. My initial advice is:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH – Look before you leap. Make sure that you understand the industry and business climate you are pursuing. For sure, you will be constantly learning new things as you go. I don’t advise getting into analysis paralysis, but at least have a solid understanding of what you are getting yourself into.
- MAKE CONNECTIONS – Get beyond yourself and meet people. Networking is key in business. The connections you make and the people that you do business with will propel you in ways you can’t number. Local chambers of commerce, non-profit organizations, and professional organizations are great places to dive in and build your business network.
- KEEP PAPERWORK – Get everything in writing, no matter how trivial. File the correct paperwork to establish your business entity, get a tax ID, maintain financial books, and make sure everything you work on has a contract behind it. Paperwork is your friend and it is not official until it is written.
- BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – As stated above, you will constantly be learning, which means you will be constantly making mistakes. That is normal. Don’t count yourself out when things go off course. Just keep moving. Always remember your WHY and let that be your compass and encouragement.