Women Business Owners (WBOs) added about $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2013, but many still have hurdles to clear on the road to success. Here are some common problems and potential fixes.
Problem: Lack of capital.
Solution: Make it easier for customers to make payments.
Aging collectibles clog your cash flow, so be sure to give your customers options that will help them pay faster. Convenient services like Electronic Funds Transfers and PayPal can speed up the process considerably.
Did you know 45% of WBOs finance their businesses with credit cards? The First offers growing businesses competitive rates on lines of credit. Call us at: 215-860-9100.
Problem: Missing out on lucrative contract bids.
Solution: Take advantage of government programs for WOSBs.
To help level the playing field for women-owned small businesses, the U.S government removed caps on the contract award size for which WOSBs are able to compete. Economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSBs) now also receive additional assistance in government contract bidding.
Problem: Little or no marketing budget.
Solution: Take full advantage of social media.
With the exception of LinkedIn, women are heavier users of almost every social media platform out there. This tried and true terrain offers low cost marketing opportunities for WBOs who may already be very comfortable using it.
The social media sites you choose depend on your type of business. If you offer “photogenic” products such as craft supplies, cosmetics, gourmet foods, and gift items, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook can capture the beauty of your products while putting them in front of your target audience. Other women-owned businesses, such as administrative, human resources, accounting, and health services companies, can’t tell their story in pictures. Sites like LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube offer engaging, cost-effective, search engine-friendly outlets for letting customers know who you are and what you do. No matter which platforms you choose, remember that boosting posts, creating events and offering coupons can help generate both buzz and business!
Overcoming obstacles is part of every businessperson’s experience, but women can face additional barriers.
Problem: No long-term direction.
Solution: Create a strategic business plan.
A lot of women not only manage a business, but a family too. So it isn’t surprising that many WBOs feel they don’t have time to develop a Strategic Business Plan. It can actually be done in a day if you ask yourself the right questions. Start by revisiting your mission and vision statements. Are you staying the course? Does the course need to be changed? Next, take a critical look at your business’ performance within its specific industry. Are you keeping pace with your competition? Are fundamental changes occurring in your industry? Finally, evaluate your business’ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) to formulate a step-by-step plan that addresses existing and possible issues.
Get started on a strategic business plan.
Owning your own business requires a lot of planning, effort and reliable information. What strategies have worked for your business? Let us know in the Comments below.