Look out, here comes the female entrepreneur! Women entrepreneurs are making their way in the business world in a big way. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 7.8 million businesses in America in 2007, which were owned by women. That is up from 6.5 million in 2002. Women business owners are surging!
It used to be a guys world. Business used to play naturally into a male mindset. But not so much any more.
If you are a woman thinking about starting a business, it is important to know that you have a lot of advantages in doing so. If you are a guy, well, it's time to get back in touch with your feminine side.
Here are the six advantages that female entrepreneurs have:
1. Social Networking. Let’s face it—women are natural networkers. They love to talk, mingle, and rub elbows. This is the very reason why husbands rarely ever manage the social calendar. In today’s business environment, mastering social media is mandatory, and the ladies absolutely have a leg up!
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2. Intuition. They call it “women’s intuition” for a reason. Women in general can size up another person much faster than her male counterpart. In today’s ultra-fast paced business environment, you need the ability to quickly identify the allies and the enemies. Regardless if you are a male or female, you need to trust your gut.
3. Pain Tolerance. Okay, initially I would have said this is irrelevant. But after watching my children be born, there is no question that my wife can handle a lot more pain than I can. And I am not just talking physical pain, I mean emotional, too (have you seen how tough children can be on their mothers?). In business, there are a lot of painful moments. A lot. Women definitely have an advantage in this area.
4. Multi-tasking. Women are known for juggling many tasks at the same time and still being able to produce excellent results. Conversely, the guys are masters at focusing on one thing. Still, the advantage in today’s distracting environment goes to women.
5. Patience. Women inherently seem to have more patience. And in today’s business environment, patience is key! Aggressive business strategies are not paying off like they once did. Slow and steady wins the race in this category.
6. Listening. A friend of mine went to buy a new bed at a small bedding store owned by a husband and wife team. The female owner approaches my friend and asked all kinds of questions about why they needed a new bed, if they could fix their old bed, what else they were considering, etc. She asked questions and listened closely. She clearly showed that she cared about helping to meet their needs. My friend was moments away from buying any bed that she recommended. But just then, the frustrated husband on the sales team ran up and said “let me handle this.” Then he just tried to hard close the sale. He was pushy, telling them what he recommended and what they had to have. Guess what? The sale was lost the second he began speaking! They walked out. I am sure he blamed her, but it was him. The key is to ask questions and really listen. Quite frankly, any great sales person knows this, man or woman, it just seems that the ladies are naturally better at doing it.
While female entrepreneurs only represent a small portion of the overall number of businesses in the country right now, make no mistake, that percentage will continue to climb. The research shows that the growth of female owned businesses is growing at twice the rate of male owned ones. The more women take the leap and open their business, the more others will follow in line. And because of these advantages, among others, they should have a pretty good chance of succeeding!