Women Now Start More Businesses than Men
Why Women Are Doing So Well Starting Businesses
This year twice as many businesses in the USA will be started by women as by men, many of these will be small businesses but it is still impressive. Here on Squidoo this proportion in favor of women is even more pronounced. So why is it happening , do women have advantages and is the situation not as rosy for women as it seems?
This lens was inspired by the huge mistakes I made starting a business and also by the story of a woman who was running a successful business which she could only work on after her day job and after she had fed and looked after her children.
Advantages Women Have over Men in Starting Business
OK these are generalizations.
- Experience Running your Own Business
Historically women have run the home they have had to organize their own schedules in this they have been their own bosses. Men usually worked or hunted in groups where they had to obey the leader of the pack.
- Self Discipline / Prioritising Tasks
Women also have more experience of multi-tasking, time scheduling, working to long term goals, working without a structure with no fixed hours
- Asking for Help
Women don't mind asking for help,whereas many men of us men are too proud and try to do everything ourselves. Running a business you cannot do EVERYTHING yourself you have be skilled in getting advice and assistance.
- Repetitive and Tedious Tasks
Men traditionally went out hunting if they killed one big beast a month they were a hero, women had the boring, tedious and meticulous jobs preparing vegetables, gathering berries, sewing clothes. Running a business involves lots of boring tedious work it is not very glamorous.
- Communication Skills
I guess no argument here women have better communication skills these are VITAL for running a business, I always preferred to email.
- Coping with Negativity and Lack of Respect
Historically women's work hasn't always been valued or respected at best just expected but they still have to get on with it. Running a business is TOUGH customers can be difficult and rude.
- Other Commitments
Because of looking after the children and maybe caring for elderly relatives women often simply cannot work a normal 9-5 so their only choice is to run their own business. This may not seem an advantage but it means they don't get stuck in a velvet trap like many men with careers.
- Multi-Level Responsibilities
This is more than multi-tasking women running a home have to get their house work done, remember it is aunty's birthday, pick up the kids on time, put money aside for a birthday party; what I mean managing little and big tasks, forward planning and so on. What I found difficult when running a business was to switch between extremely technical work, handling a client call, dealing with a personnel issue, planning a marketing call.
Why the Picture is not Quite so Rosy!
Although women like Meg Whitman and Virginia Rometty have risen to the top giant corporations like eBay and IBM many of the businesses started by women are one-person personal-care businesses where they often end up earning less than they might of done with a job and they are often working longer hours too.
Men starting businesses are often leveraging their long experience in a sector and may already have a customer base, when done correctly this type of business can succeed rapidly.
Do Women Have Advantages Over Men in Starting Business
Do Women have advantages in Running a Business
Girl's Guide to Starting a Business
Skills Required for Running A Business - Required by Men or Women
I mean what you want to do make things, resell, sell consultancy. This is important but on it's own it's not enough
- People Skills
You should have had experience managing people, a department, a team etc.
- Deal with Nos
You should be a bit of street fighter, whenever a supplier or employee or customer says no you have to be able to find a way to get a yes or negotiate an alternative. Any one too polite or considerate will probably fail. A clue is are you a good complainer when you get poor service?
- Always Complete your To Do List
You have to be able to complete your to-do list efficiently and rapidly no matter what else crops up to distract you during the working day.
- Do your Priority Tasks First
Lots of people are good at being busy, few are good at always doing the priority tasks (the unpleasant) jobs first.
A small business owner has to wear many hats, he/she must be able to ensure that each activity gets its far of scheduling.
- Write an Excellent Business Plan
- Be a Good Decision-Maker
Be able to make the best possible decision and then stick to it
- Know how to Delegate
Micromanagement will discourage employees and colleagues and eventually wear you out. Anyway you should be doing more important things.
- Passion or Desperation
To succeed you must be either desperate i.e. your business succeeds or you starve or so passionate that you overcome all obstacles.
Starting a business is tough for men and for women there are many pitfalls you have to be in it for the long haul.
But in general people starting businesses is good for the economy, they rent offices, buy equipment, employ people and pay taxes.