Don’t Hold Back
It is one of the key business questions of our time: Why are women-owned firms still smaller on average than their male-owned counterparts?
One commonly cited reason by many experts, entrepreneurs, and my own observation, is that many women entrepreneurs make the conscious decision NOT to grow their business in order to maintain work/life balance.
Nell Merlino, co-founder of Make Mine a Million, offers the opposite advice to female entrepreneurs. She says that actually, the bigger your business is, the more you can delegate to employees and subsequently the more time you can spend with family.
Some of her advice reflects my own and that of many others. We advise female entrepreneurs that in order to grow their businesses, there are several practical steps they can take.
If you are a woman open to growing your business, then you need to:
- THINK BIGGER – have a broader, larger vision for your business.
- HAVE THE INTENTION to grow.
- DEVELOP A PLAN FOR GROWTH if you have determined your business is scalable.
- DETERMINE WHO AND WHAT YOU NEED to help you grow — customers, networks, employees, sponsors, vendors, financing, etc.
- DO NOT BE AFRAID to hire employees.
- HAVE THE CONFIDENCE to grow — go for it!
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, in a survey conducted by Make Mine a Million, 54% of female entrepreneurs reported believing that they could grow their company without hiring. Some women fear hiring, says Merino, because they fear giving up control, not making payroll, and having people rely on them. Other women think that doing everything themselves makes their business more manageable.
The bigger your business is, the more you can delegate to employees and subsequently the more time you can spend with family.
In reality, the opposite is often true: delegating duties can free you up to focus on a long-term strategy and ways to grow your business so that it is more manageable and sustainable.
To get you started in determining if your business has growth potential, author of Blueprint to a Billion, David Thompson — a management guru who uncovers patterns behind billion-dollar firms — has revealed some of the most critical factors to achieving exponential growth:
- Create and sustain a Breakthrough Value Proposition — What is unique about your business?
- Exploit a High-Growth Market Segment — Does your market have the potential for high growth?
- Build and nurture Marquee Customers — Are your best customers the source of exponential revenue growth and is your sales force extraordinary?
- Leverage Big-Brother Alliances for Breaking into New Markets — Are you leveraging alliances with big companies to accelerate growth?
The key is don’t hold back.
You may be able to have it all! It is possible that growing your business may allow you to create a better lifestyle with both more money and improved work/life balance.