Holly Slade, writing for Forbes online writes:
When women have established businesses, they are actually happier than their entrepreneurial male counterparts, as well as rating their well-being more than twice as high as non-entrepreneurs and non-business owners, according to the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) U.S. Report
There was one caveat – female entrepreneurs who are just starting out are less happy than male entrepreneurs in the start-up phase, says Edward Rogoff, one of the reports authors. One out of 10 women in the U.S. is starting or running a new business, the report also found. This rate is higher than any of the other 24 developed economies measured.
What’s more, the proportion of women that want to grow their businesses by more than five employees in the next five years increased from 31% in 2012 to 36% in 2013, so overall there are an estimated 3.73 million American women with growth-oriented businesses.
Read the whole article here.
by: Isabel Graf, Ph.D., Co-founder, Insights2Talent, LLC
Establishing and growing a successful business is difficult, but there are some things you can do to keep your business and your sanity. Here are eight rules to guide you along your way.
- Attitude. Being positive builds business. Positivity attracts others to you; people will want to be around you. Negativity pushes others away. Think of that one friend who always complains – you probably look for ways to spend less time with that person. So make sure you are not the “negative friend.” If you don’t know how to begin the change, read books and watch videos on positive attitudes, or ask your colleagues what you can do to improve.
- Listen. Listen to your clients and potential clients. Too often, business owners make the mistake of doing all the talking. Yes, you are the expert – but if you do all the talking, how do you know what the client really wants or needs? Ask questions and then listen (really listen) so you can identify what you can do to help. You will win and retain more – and happier – clients.
- Ask. Ask for advice or help. You cannot know everything, and it is dangerous to think you can do it all yourself. Find a small group of people you trust – people you can bounce ideas off of and learn from. Share your challenges with them and find out how they handled similar problems.
- Understand Finance. You don’t need an accounting degree, but you do need to know how to read an income statement and a balance sheet. It is important that you understand how you earn revenue and whether you are charging enough to cover all your expenses – fixed and variable. Remember that“Cash is king;” you must understand the concept of cash flow. There may be times when you show a profit but not have the cash to pay your bills or meet your payroll.
- Walk Away. Actually, run away – far away – from unethical people. If you associate with unethical people, your clients and potential clients will think the same of you. It is your reputation – guard it well.
- Be Honest. If you are asked about something that it is not your area of expertise, tell the person honestly that you don’t know, AND recommend someone who might be able to help them. This builds trust with the client and develops a network of people you can rely upon and who will refer business back to you. If you are concerned that a person you might recommend will steal your client, refer back to Rule # 5.
- Keep Your Commitments. Be careful not to over-commit. It is difficult to turn away business when you’re worried about making money and growing your company. So business owners tend to commit to everything and then worry about how we will deliver. Quality and deadlines suffer, if the work gets done at all, or we spend all our waking hours (and some of the hours we should be sleeping) stressed-out while trying to get everything done. This leads us to rule # 8.
- Make Time for Yourself. It’s easy to fall into the trap of working all hours of the day and night and the weekends as well. You feel productive, but you begin to hate your business. Your dream of entrepreneurship becomes just another “job,” and you start to wonder what you can do next to make a living. Set limits for yourself. Start by not over-committing and being honest about work you cannot do. Find time for your family, friends, hobbies, or simply doing nothing for a while. Women who are driven to own their own businesses often do not have outside interests – we are too busy managing our companies. Stop work at a reasonable hour every day. Take a day off as often as you can. (Radical thought: take a vacation!) Time away rejuvenates us and we function so much better after the break.
Follow these eight rules for a more successful and healthier professional and personal life.
Isabel Graf, Ph.D. is co-founder of Insights2Talent, a human resources firm specializing in leadership development, executive coaching, assessments and other talent management services. With more than 20 years of experience in the human resources field, Isabel has worked with several Fortune 500 companies as well as small to medium-sized companies, as an internal and external consultant. Isabel has a Ph.D. in Human Resource Management and an MBA in Accounting.
How long has it been since you took a good long look at your business plan?
For more on how to create a solid business plan, watch Rich and Jeff Sloan (and Rich’s dog, Max) as they do a deep dive on three key components of a solid business plan:
1.A clearly defined business model
2.A financing strategy that’s aligned with your growth needs
3.A milestone timeline to which you can hold yourself accountable
For more than fifty years, the SBA has helped entrepreneurs start, grow and succeed in their business ventures. For all kinds of business owners across the country – including in traditionally underserved communities – SBA provides resources and access to capital they need to flourish. Here’s how we help entrepreneurs and business owners who are:
- Minorities: Interested in government contracting? The 8(a) Business Development Program helps small, disadvantaged businesses compete in the marketplace.
- Women: From registering your business to hiring your first employee, we’re here to help you launch your small business.
- Native Americans: We have opportunities and programs designed to help Native American entrepreneurs start and manage their businesses.
- Veterans: From the military world to the business world, SBA has customized resources to help our veterans succeed.
- 50+ Entrepreneurs: Are you nearing retirement and exploring new opportunities? We have information and tools to help “encore” entrepreneurs start and run their businesses.
- People with Disabilities: Explore resources and links to help disabled people establish and manage small businesses.
Our online Learning Center also offers free, self-paced courses tailored to your business type and more, so you can get the online training you need, when you need it.
At SBA, we’re in the business of businesses – and in making sure our diverse entrepreneurs across the U.S. access the resources and capital they need to find success in their ventures.
Lauren Little, JWBC Client and owner of Edible Arrangements
If you are one of these women, or are a woman looking to join this rising force in entrepreneurship, SBA is here to help.
From training resources to registering your business, The SBA has information and programs to help you start and grow your business. Here’s how:
> Check out the Resource Portal for Women Business Owners — It includes online guides, tools, and training that walk you through the steps of starting, growing, and financing your business. SBA can even connect you to a mentor and information about start-up accelerator programs tailored for women.
> SBA Programs that make a difference to women — From loan programs to financing your business growth to courses and opportunities that make it easier for women to compete in the government marketplace, SBA can help prepare you for success.
> Visit a Women’s Business Center — This national network of more than 100 educational centers assists women on all kinds of business issues.
> Access Online Training — Education is key for success, and it’s easier than ever with SBA’s Learning Center. Explore self-paced training courses, quick videos, web chats and more to help you understand the many aspects of business ownership.
> Join our Online Community — Discuss and explore your business challenges with experts and peers in our online community of 30,000+ members.
> Blogs and Articles — Hundreds of articles in the SBA Community offer tips for business success.
The SBA is here to help you take your business to the next level. Learn more today.
SBA Extends Weekly Office Hours Webinars for Women Entrepreneurs on Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration has extended its free webinar series through July for women business owners to learn more about increasing opportunities for women entrepreneurs in the federal contracting arena. The Office Hours for Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program will be held each Tuesday and Thursday from July 8 through July 31 at 2 p.m. ET.
SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program presents an opportunity for small businesses to increase their presence in the federal marketplace. The federal government is the biggest buyer in the world and is a must-have customer for women-owned companies.
The hour-long webinars will be led by SBA officials, and will help to answer questions and give valuable insight to women entrepreneurs on doing business in the federal marketplace.
WHAT: SBA Office Hours Webinars on Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program
WHEN: July 8 – July 31, 2014, each Tuesday and Thursday:
- Tuesday, July 8th, July 15th, July 22nd and July 29th
- Thursday, July 10th, July 17th, July 24 and July 31st
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (ET)
HOW: Registration is free, but required. Please contact LeAnn.Delaney@sba.gov<mailto:LeAnn.Delaney@sba.gov> to sign up, and include the date you would like to participate. The webinars are repeated.
To learn more about the SBA’s Women-Owned Small Business Federal Contract Program, visit http://www.sba.gov/content/women-owned-small-business-federal-contract-program.