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Do Women Business Owners Think Too Small?

Self-analysis is the pinnacle of personal growth. And before I begin this post, I must admit that at times, I’m guilty of thinking and shutterstock_125356559approaching business growth in a small manner.

In my 17 years of business advising, I have recognized small thinking among some women entrepreneurs. I have counseled both in my own practice as well as in my work at the Small Business Development Center, the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone, the Business Outreach Center of New York, and several other organizations.

When discussing business growth, I suggest strategies that are easy to implement and execute and that require minimal resources (i.e., people, money, and time). One of my growth suggestions is to maximize the company website with SEO. The response I sometimes receive from women business owners is “I can’t afford that” or “How do I know it will work?” They often fail to understand that optimization could attract new business to offset the expense. And after explaining the approach and potential outcomes, the suggestion would still result in resistance.

Men business owners have a tendency to ask about the cost and how long before they can see some results. The NextWomen Business Magazine says many women business owners are less risk-tolerant than men. NextWomen quotes a woman entrepreneur who said, “I know if I am suffering any financial pressures, I tend to instinctively think about how to cut back rather than identify how to bring in more revenue.” On the positive, people love working for women. Women tend to attract teams that are very driven, because women, unlike some men, are willing to subvert their ego and allow other egos to shine.

Let’s flip the switch and look at this topic in another manner. Women business owners know how to do more with less, and they tend to be extremely thrifty and allergic to waste, according to CBS News. Women-owned businesses are also more customer-centric; women thrive in complexity, adept fairly easily, and tend to think that there are multiple solutions to a problem.

To offset the negatives, Susan Coelius Keplinger, co-founder and president of Triggit, suggests that women need to get in training early in their lives to see risk as a challenge and be able to accept potential failure along with success.

I suspect that there will be an avalanche of backlash from this post. Please know that I posed the question to potentially shine the light on our challenges and to show women business owners like me how to begin creating highly successful, thriving enterprises that are as successful, or even more successful, than their male business-owner counterparts.

To learn more about how to drive business growth, register for SUMtech 2015, the best (un)accounting conference east of the Mississippi – teaching entrepreneurs and business owners how to increase efficiency and fuel growth.

Freda Thomas is a business advisor and problem solver with two decades of entrepreneurial experience. She has proven techniques that help minimize the pain associated with growing a business and has successfully written hundreds of business plans for her clients, and those clients have gone on to receive millions of dollars in funding.

This article was originally posted on Freda’s Newsletter.

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