Let’s start with the
truth. According to the Center for Women Owned Businesses, there are 10.4
million women-owned businesses that employ nearly 12.8 million people and
generate $1.9 trillion in sales. That’s astounding.
This means, however, that most women-owned firms are still one-person shops—the numbers break down to about 1.2 employees
PER business. Why is that? Most economists say that women start “lifestyle
businesses” so therefore they are not interested in growth. Is that true? I don’t think so!
So, what is
it preventing women business owners from aggressively growing their business so
that they achieve financial independence?
I asked this
question to several investors over the last two years. The response: “Most
women just don’t know how to compete.”
My response: “You’ve
got to be kidding.”
did nothing but fuel my desire to find the real truth. Fox Business News thinks
“Women ROCK as business owners” and cited these points in a 2010 article:
- Women owned firms contribute $3 trillion annually to the U.S. economy (revenue generated plus investment expenses to grow their business). They also account for 16% of ALL jobs.
- Women owned firms are projected to create 5 – 5½ million NEW jobs by 2018. For the record, that’s more than half of the TOTAL new small-business jobs that will be created and about one-third of the TOTAL new jobs anticipated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This includes jobs in Corporate America.
- The Fox Business News article states that characteristics such as being customer-focused, community-focused and being servant leaders translates into women who excel in running a business, keeping employees engaged and building a loyal customer base.
didn’t mention that “we don’t know how to compete.” Just for the record.
So, if we
“rock” at business ownership…why does it feel as if we’re just getting by?
Incubator with a passion for incubating and launching million-dollar businesses
in a growth platform of 2-4 years, I needed some answers. For me to be
successful as an Incubator, I must ensure the business can and does grow to $1
million in revenue as quickly as possible.
So…I asked. Starting
in 2009, I interviewed over 100 women business owners whose business fell short
of their expectations. I quickly realized that these were not “lifestyle
businesses” as many economists would have you believe. These women were working
on average 60 hours per week trying to grow their business.
Next, I ruled
out the “women don’t know how to compete argument” because what I found is that
if anything, women are too competitive – which actually gets in their way.
But I did
find three simple, yet growth-stifling mistakes. When you put them
together, they explain why there are so many women-run firms who remain small and
miss the $1M annual revenue mark.
Three mistakes many women entrepreneurs make
We focus on DOING rather than “GETTING
Most women feel as if we have to do it all ourselves,
and so consequently, we do. Yet, to reach financial freedom it requires us to
give up control and find ways to get the work done through others. Regardless
of how well they do it.
Financial freedom requires giving up control and hiring others to get things done, regardless of how well they do it.
So, if your
business is still a micro-enterprise (that means like a 1-person business)…it’s
time to change your focus from “Doing” to “Getting it Done”. The first thing to
That’s right. In our Business Incubation program, the business owners must turn
over the accounting function to our Group Controller because it is the LEAST
value-added activity in the entire enterprise. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t
keep track of your money, but it shouldn’t be something YOU do. It’s just not
grandfather, who, if you read my book (Succeed on Purpose – Everything Happens
for a Reason), was the primary source of knowledge and inspiration for most of
my young life, said this: “To make money, you can’t sit around and count
We focus on TASKS rather than business PRIORITIES
hundreds of tasks required to run a business. How many truly add value? Not
There are only three priorities you need to focus on the get reach $1M in revenue.
The THREE priorities to focus on in order to achieve $1M in revenue are:
- Drive new business revenue.
- Grow the revenue you currently have. (This is much more than customer satisfaction: Think ORGANIC Growth.)
- Drive organizational efficiency. (Do it smarter.)
on what’s NOT working rather than what IS working!
This is the biggest mistake of all. Think about it. Look at your
To Do list. How many things on that list are areas that aren’t working? How
many times have you lamented the challenges? Conversely, do you have a
ready-made list of what IS working? Probably not.
Shift your focus DAILY to
what IS working and you’ll see an immediate shift in your business success.
At Succeed On
Purpose, we have a model called: R³OCK™ Your Business. It stands for:
Re-position, Re-focus and Re-energize.
- Re-position: Focus on getting it done, NOT doing it.
- Re-focus: Focus on PRIORITIES rather than tasks.
- Re-energize: Focus your time and energy on what IS working; and your energy will improve…and what isn’t working will resolve itself.
financial freedom? Develop a strategy to grow your business to $1M in annual
Need help with that? Stay tuned…we’ll be announcing a really cool
Venuspreneur™ Million Dollar Makeover soon. Get ready to R³OCK™ your business!