Women Business Owners: Fad or Trend?

business-womenAre you an employee or an entrepreneur? Is it a job or a career? Are these options mutually exclusive? Can you develop a business on the side or must it be a full-time commitment? These are just some of the questions many of us grapple with in the course of our lives. Timing may not be perfect, new skills need to be learned, financing acquired, and relationships developed and/or managed. Most importantly, do you have a vision and are you passionate about your business?

KICKSTART Your Transition is one of 11.6 million businesses nationally that are owned by women. Women-owned businesses employ more than 9 million people and contribute an economic impact of $1.7 trillion in revenue.

To put this in perspective, if U.S.-based women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the fifth-largest GDP in the world, trailing closely behind Germany and ahead of countries including France, the United Kingdom and Italy. Women-owned firms are not a small, niche market but are a significant contributor and major player in the overall economy.

Women have strongly caught the entrepreneurial spirit and are leveraging opportunities to create and run their own businesses. According to an American Express analysis of Census Bureau figures, between 1997 and 2014 alone, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. rose by 68 percent, twice the growth rate for businesses owned by men and nearly 2.5% times the rate for all companies.

Women-owned businesses make up more than half (52.0 percent) of all businesses in health care and social assistance sectors, and they are making a real impact in other industry sectors, including educational services (45 percent) and administrative support and waste management services (44 percent). Many of these businesses are small to mid-size but have grown to more than $1 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in annual sales has increased 57 percent over the past decade.

Does this data inspire or discourage you? There are many ways to begin to collect your own information to determine if you are on the right track and if business ownership is a good fit for you. What we do know is that more women than ever have been inspired to take a risk and that is not an insignificant trend.

©MWeisner2017

Are You an Employee or an Entrepreneur?

51015_1When we’ve put this question to various groups, respondents overwhelmingly self-identified as entrepreneurs, yet the majority were in fact, employees. So, is there truly a disconnect, or is the conversation about the “future self”, the person you strive to be?

Upon closer examination, how can you truly know what you are best suited for and also explode the myths around business ownership? Some people imagine it to be an escape from a workplace they dislike while others dream of an enterprise they can nurture, lead and grow into something monetizable while filling a gap in the marketplace.
• Is your business idea a lifestyle one or is it scalable?
• Part-time or full-time?
• Can you develop your business while working elsewhere?
• How committed are you to dedicating significant time to growing it?
• Consider the financials? Is there a “family” buy-in? Other resources?
• How comfortable are you with risk?

Advances in technology have enabled many people to launch successful businesses without making a significant financial investment and grow them before leaving a full-time job. By starting small you can judge the viability of an endeavor and test the marketplace.

Other options include:
• Franchise opportunities train and prepare you to open locations devoted to auto repair, dining establishments, financial services, and more.
• Engage a business broker in matching you with one that is for sale and meets your requirements
• Partner with a colleague whose skill set is complementary to yours

Another interesting approach is as an intrapreneur, an underutilized alternative. These are internal employees who use entrepreneurial skills and thinking to seek out initiatives that could benefit the organization financially. In such a position, you can develop and road test your business mettle and add qualifications to your resume while gaining the real time experience of advancing and implementing new ideas minus the financial risks of ownership.

To make your entrepreneurial dream a reality, begin here:
Informational interviewing– who’s doing what you would like to do and ask for some time to talk about their work
Job shadowing- see above
• Research- is there a need for your business/product?
Credentials- what training or specific education does this role require

©MWeisner2016

Women Business Owners: Fad or Trend?

Adderall-shutterstock_170892518Are you an employee or an entrepreneur? Is it a job or a career? Are these options mutually exclusive? Can you develop a business on the side or must it be a full-time commitment? These are just some of the questions many of us grapple with in the course of our lives. Timing may not be perfect, new skills need to be learned, financing acquired, and relationships developed and/or managed. Most importantly, do you have a vision and are you passionate about your business?

KICKSTART Your Transition is one of 8 million businesses nationally that are owned by women. Women-owned businesses employ more than 23 million people and contribute an economic impact of $3 trillion.

To put this in perspective, if U.S.-based women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the fifth-largest GDP in the world, trailing closely behind Germany and ahead of countries including France, the United Kingdom and Italy. Women-owned firms are not a small, niche market but are a significant contributor and major player in the overall economy.

Women have caught the entrepreneurial spirit and are leveraging opportunities to create and run their own businesses. According to an American Express analysis of Census Bureau figures, between 1997 and 2014, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. rose by 68 percent, twice the growth rate for businesses owned by men and nearly one-and-a-half times the rate for all companies.

Women-owned businesses make up more than half (52 percent) of all businesses in health care and social assistance sectors, and they are making a real impact in other industry sectors, including educational services (45 percent) and administrative support and waste management services (44 percent). Many of these businesses are small to mid-size but have grown to more than $1 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in annual sales has increased 57 percent over the past decade.

Does this data inspire or discourage you? There are many ways to begin to collect your own information to determine if you are on the right track and if business ownership is a good fit for you. What we do know is that more women than ever have been inspired to take a risk and that is not an insignificant trend.

©2015MWeisner

Women Business Owners: Fad or Trend

imagesAre you an employee or an entrepreneur? Is it a job or a career? Are these options mutually exclusive? Can you develop a business on the side or must it be a full-time commitment? These are just some of the questions many of us grapple with in the course of our lives. Timing may not be perfect, new skills need to be learned, financing acquired, and relationships developed and/or managed. Most importantly, do you have a vision and are you passionate about your business idea?

KICKSTART Your Transition is one of 8 million businesses nationally that are owned by women. Women-owned businesses employ more than 23 million people and contribute an economic impact of $3 trillion.To put this in perspective, if U.S.-based women-owned businesses were their own country, they would have the fifth-largest GDP in the world, trailing closely behind Germany and ahead of countries including France, the United Kingdom and Italy. Women-owned firms are not a small, niche market but are a significant contributor and major player in the overall economy.

Women have caught the entrepreneurial spirit and are leveraging opportunities to create and run their own businesses. According to an American Express analysis of Census Bureau figures, between 1997 and 2014, the number of women-owned businesses in the U.S. rose by 68 percent, twice the growth rate for businesses owned by men and nearly one-and-a-half times the rate for all companies.

Women-owned businesses make up more than half (52.0 percent) of all businesses in health care and social assistance sectors, and they are making a real impact in other industry sectors, including educational services (45 percent) and administrative support and waste management services (44 percent). Many of these businesses are small to mid-size but have grown to more than $1 million in revenue. Meanwhile, the number of women-owned firms with $10 million or more in annual sales has increased 57 percent over the past decade.

Does this data inspire or discourage you? There are many ways to begin to collect your own information to determine if you are on the right track and if business ownership is a good fit for you. What we do know is that more women than ever have been inspired to take a risk and that is not an insignificant trend.

©2014MWeisner

The Rule Book

ice-cream-cone-284x300I want an ice cream cone. Not a two scooper or what seems like a pint balanced precariously atop a fragile looking sugar cone. I want a kid-sized serving which is still entirely too much but at least it could resemble a portion in proportion. My request for less was denied. At this stand there were no small sizes on the menu and apparently no flexibility in responding to customer requests.

• When are rules really meant to be bent or broken?
• What is their purpose after all?
• Control?  Uniformity? Simplicity?

It wasn’t a question of cost, as I was willing to pay. It did not seem like a radical request and as a family owned business, isn’t responding to customer feedback important for continued success? Basic business principles would support listening to your patrons and perhaps modifying your method of delivery. So, where is the disconnect?

IS YOUR RULE BOOK WRITTEN IN CONCRETE OR SAND?

If you are a business owner or entrepreneur yourself, how willing are you to look at your operations with fresh eyes? Often times we put systems in place, get them up and running and promptly forget to revisit the process again. We become comfortable and may only pay attention when something breaks down. Is too much “ice cream” making you complacent or do you need to change places and be the client/customer for the day!
• How curious are you?
• Compose one inquiry that would open up new conversation
• Remember, if you ask the question of your client/customer, staff and more, be prepared for the answer and accompanying follow-up

 
© 2014 Maureen Weisner