Women Business Owners (NAWBO)
(Family Features) In today’s technology driven age, the successful small business owner is a savvy individual with a passion for their product.
A survey recently conducted by Web.com and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) gathered insights from women-owned businesses across the nation. Among its many discoveries, survey respondents expressed an increased optimism for business performance – over the previous year’s survey findings. The study also found that, of the factors weighing the most influence on the decision to start a business, 92 percent of women feel the ability to do something you are passionate about carries more weight than the ability to increase work-life balance. While the question topics ranged from social media practices to the state of the economy – one overarching theme is evident – the entrepreneurial spirit of the female small business owner is thriving in America.
Timely advice for today
To help women at every stage of business operations, Web.com and NAWBO offer these points for improving your business bottom line and help lay the groundwork for long-term success.
Ensure customers can find your business. With more than one billion websites now in existence, having a website has not only become essential, but effectively promoting its existence and value has become critical to your ability to gain new customers. If you don’t have a website (particularly one optimized for the mobile experience), you need to either build one yourself or have one built for you by working with one of the many website hosting or development companies available today. Then learn and apply search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, online advertising and other online marketing services that will lead new customers to discover your business online.
Connect and engage with customers on their terms. The personal touch and excellent customer service that encourage people to patronize small businesses can extend to social media platforms, where small business owners can connect and engage directly with both potential new and existing customers. Set-up a LinkedIn page for your business to serve as a networking channel; build a customer fan base on Facebook through promoting specific products, promotions and services and engaging directly with the customer. Let the social media channels drive customers to your business.
Take advantage of new resources. If you’re overwhelmed with the everyday demands that starting and running a business requires or don’t feel you have the know-how to build, optimize and promote your business online, find an expert to guide you through the process or even manage all these details on your behalf. Whether you seek assistance from a business organization or online services provider who can do it all – from design, building and hosting your website to promoting it via SEO, email marketing and social media management, consider the arrangement as a partnership that’s critical to your ability to meet or exceed your business goals.
Whether they own a body shop or a beauty shop, female small business owners are spreading their passions in communities everywhere.
Businesses owned by women?
Businesses owned by women, minorities lag in revenue share
Women, blacks, Asians and Hispanics have built up substantial positions as business owners in several sectors of the U.S. economy. But based on revenue, those businesses are on average considerably smaller than white- or male-owned firms, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Overall, men owned more than half of the nation’s 27.6 million firms in 2012, according to preliminary results from the Survey of Business Owners, and women owned more than 9.9 million businesses, about 36% of the total. The remaining 10% of firms were either jointly owned by men and women or could not be categorized by gender because they were publicly traded companies or have large, diverse ownership groups.
The data for the Census Bureau’s twice-a-decade survey includes all firms — incorporated or not, with and without paid employees — with receipts of $1,000 or more in 2012. A handful of firm types are excluded, including farms, railroads, funds and trusts, churches, foundations, civic groups and professional organization, the Postal Service and the Federal Reserve. About two-thirds of the 1.75 million businesses in the survey sample responded.
Women-owned firms made up sizable shares of some industries. For example, more than half of all firms in the health care/social assistance and educational services industries were owned by women in 2012. Women also owned more than half of the businesses in the miscellaneous “other services” category.
But women-owned firms didn’t earn a proportionate share of industry revenues. (The analysis is complicated by the fact that well over half of all business revenues go to a relatively small number of publicly held companies and other firms that aren’t classifiable by gender, race or ethnicity. For that reason, the sales comparisons that follow refer only to the 27.5 million firms that are classifiable in those ways.)
The combined sales of all women-owned firms in the country, for instance, were $1.6 trillion in 2012 – 11.3% of the $14.3 trillion in total receipts reported that year by all classifiable firms. Male-owned firms had 79.2% of total classifiable sales; those whose ownership was equally male and female had 9.5%.
Although 64.5% of classifiable health care and social assistance firms were owned by women in 2012, those firms received just 19.9% of that industry’s $703.5 billion in total classifiable revenues. Among classifiable educational-services firms, 56.9% were women-owned but they took in only 28.1% of the industry’s classifiable revenues. Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction stood out among the major industry groups: Women-owned businesses in that industry had a greater share of classifiable revenues (18.8%) than they represented as a share of all classifiable firms (17.7%).
Overall, about 29% of firms (nearly 8 million) were owned by blacks or Asians. About 12% were owned by Hispanics, who can be of any race.
Sales at minority-owned businesses as a group totaled nearly $1.6 trillion in 2012, or 10.9% of all classifiable revenues. About half of those sales went to Asian-owned firms, who accounted for 5.5% of classifiable sales and 7.1% of classifiable businesses. The 12.1% of classifiable businesses with Hispanic ownership received only 3.6% of classifiable sales, or $517.4 billion.
The data show that some sectors more than others have a significant share of minority-owned firms. Nearly a fifth of health care/social assistance businesses and about 15% of transportation/warehousing businesses were owned by blacks. Asian Americans owned about 19% of firms in the accommodation and food services industry. (Note: The SBO defines “ownership” as having 51% or more of the stock or equity in the business. Also, all findings are based on preliminary data and may change when the Census Bureau releases final data in December.)
Fewer than one-in-five of all firms (19.6%) had paid employees in 2012, and those that did were considerably larger (averaging nearly $6 million in annual sales, versus less than $48,000 for firms with no paid employees). Among firms with employees, women-owned firms employed fewer people on average than male-owned firms (8.5 versus 13.5); minority-owned firms had smaller payrolls (8.4 employees on average) than non-minority-owned firms (12.6 employees).
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