Six Questions to Conquer the Growth Woes of Women-Owned Businesses

I read Monday’s article in The Wall Street Journal new research which reveals that women-owned businesses are a lot smaller than men-owned companies. The author, Sharon Hadary, claims that “the differences between women and men begin with their own reasons for starting a business.”

What role are our current education systems playing in encouraging women to play small, and how do we break free from that limiting paradigm?

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Sharon Hadary and Chris Vaugh (courtesy HerStartup)

Hadary, the former and founding executive director of the Center for Women’s Business Research, found that only 3% of women-owned businesses generate over $1M. That number doubles (6%) for men-owned businesses.

Hadary shares a number of causes for these disparities. For example, most women’s business centers or seminars for women business owners are ignoring the topic of planning for future growth. She contends that these groups focus exclusively on skills such as budget planning, marketing advice, and short-term business launch strategies.

She recommends that in order to close that gap, “we need to do more than simply help women plan for business as usual…and “dramatically transform women’s concepts of the future of their business enterprises…to catapult their businesses to a whole new level.”

Hadary’s action steps are also compelling. She goes on to say: “To do this, we have to show women how to embrace change; to be trend-setters rather than simply react; to innovate beyond expectations, to develop global integration, and to practice social responsibility.We need to help them identify ways to make their enterprises scalable and to build teams of talented people for where the enterprise should be in five years, not just today.”

The next time you find yourself saying “planning is too expensive, difficult, and time-consuming,” pause and reconsider. This is not true. It’s your limiting belief talking.  Ask yourself these six questions to transform your perspective about fostering rapid business growth:

1. What is a specific result that you want that you do not currently have? Where are you stuck?

2. How are you behaving when you are being that way?

3. If it were impossible to be that way, who would you prefer to be instead?

4. What kind of actions and results could those ways of being produce for you?

5. Who do you choose to be? (select an empowering state of being; e.g. expansive, decisive, confident, fearless, etc.)

6. What is the first action you will take that expresses that way of being, and that will move you towards your desired result?

(source: Robert Middleton)

I wonder if Sharon read my book before she published this article. Sharon, if you’re reading this, let’s do lunch the next time you’re in Portland. It’s on me.

What say you, Wealthy Business community?

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