Currently, women make up the fastest growing sector of small business owners in the United States. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women-owned businesses increased at twice the rate of all firms in the last five years and currently account for an estimated 28% of all privately-held firms in the country.
There are several factors that contribute to the high number of women going into business for themselves. The biggest one is the flexibility of working for yourself, which eliminates the issues of balancing family and work, the frustrations of pay equity and the glass ceiling. Another factor is that women who own businesses are more likely to enjoy the same level of economic power as men.
Below are seven easy to follow steps women business owners can follow to improve profitability:
- Micromanage your business financially
Always keep a firm grasp on the money coming in and the money going out. Do a monthly financial report within the first five days of the following month, analyze it and make necessary changes. Keep an eye on your finances on a daily basis. It is your responsibility to be aware of the financial state of your business.
- Pay Yourself First
Don’t sell yourself short through sweat equity. Pay yourself what you are worth. It will help you to maintain your own self-worth and self-esteem and allow you to meet your own personal financial needs in addition to those of the business.
- Concentrate on Selling, not Packaging
Don’t get so wrapped up in the packaging of your product that you lose focus on sales. Selling is the number one priority. Get buyers lined up even before the product is ready.
- Love Your Business as Much as You Love Your Family
Being 100% committed to your business is usually easy for women, who tend to approach their business with as much care as their families.
- Take Responsibility for Success or Failure
Women are less likely than men to have a big ego. Managing your own self-importance is key to taking responsibility for your actions. You have to be humble enough to admit when you are wrong so that you can make the necessary changes to improve your business, yet you have to be forceful enough to also take credit for your successes.
- Eat Your Vegetables First
Work the priorities. Don’t procrastinate and put off unpleasant tasks. Start each day by doing the two things you least want to do, but have to get done.
- Seek Government Contracts
An important source of business that has not been tapped adequately by women is government procurement. The US Government is the world’s largest purchaser of goods and services, accounting for nearly $200 billion annually. Currently, only 2% of those contracts are awarded to women-owned businesses.