The month of March is Women’s History Month — a month dedicated to celebrating and honoring women from all walks of life who have made considerable contributions to the greater good and whose efforts have gone unnoticed for far too long. One way we can show our love is to support women-owned businesses, which is important now more than ever as many of these businesses — on top of the many barriers they already face — have struggled to make ends meet over the course of the pandemic.
What is it that makes female-owned businesses so special?
We all know women are pretty awesome and amazingly talented in many ways. But what is it specifically about women that makes them uniquely successful as entrepreneurs?
1. Women take a thorough and methodical approach to business and risk-taking.
Women are known to be more conservative risk-takers than their male counterparts and are naturally more cautious of the inherent risks involved in making big decisions. Considering the success of most businesses rely on solid organizational skills and an ability to meet key goals, women business owners are able to achieve long-term, sustainable success by avoiding the pitfalls that come with a “too fast too soon” approach. Female entrepreneurs have an innate ability to plan, organize, and visualize what is needed to forge ahead and achieve the end goal. To this end, women tend to make more sound and smart business decisions, reinvest business profits and avoid risky business strategies that can negatively affect the success of their company.
2. Women tend to create healthy workplace cultures.
The ability to retain quality employees is something that many businesses strive towards. When employees feel valued, listened to, and truly part of the team they tend to push harder for the betterment of the company as a whole (which is a win-win situation for everyone!). According to a study on successful entrepreneurs conducted by Harvard Business School in 2016, women business owners thrive on positive morale and have the exceptional ability of bringing people together.
Additionally, women are generally motivated by independence and self-realization, and tend to place a high value on work-life balance. They naturally seek balance between work and family, and are highly aware that their employees will have greater motivation and creativity if they can live a full life outside of work. As a result, many female business owners are willing to provide employees with flexible work arrangements.
3. Women have strong transformational leadership skills.
Businesses with a purpose beyond profits need strong transformational leaders to succeed over the long term. A 2019 Harvard Business Review article revealed that, when rated by others, women leaders score higher than men on 84% of the qualities required for successful transformational leadership, such as honesty and integrity, resilience, bold leadership, building relationships and championing change. As such, female entrepreneurs are able to use these traits to create a compelling company vision and move people to action.
How we can show more support for women-owned businesses
The recent pandemic has brought many businesses to a standstill including many female-owned businesses. Women already have to overcome insurmountable odds to achieve success in the business sphere, including pay disparities, stigma around their capability, lack of support, limited access to funding and resources, and more. And this does not even include the juggling act that some women face as both moms and business owners trying to balance the demands of work, family, and motherhood. Becoming a customer or a client is obviously a fantastic way of showing support, but in addition to this, there are many ways to support women-owned businesses.
1. A small purchase goes a long way.
Again, the most obvious way to show some love for female-led business is to show support by making a deliberate effort to purchase from a women-owned business, no matter how big or small the purchase.
2. Like, comment and share.
Showing more support for female-owned businesses can begin with something as simple as a like, comment, or share on their social media page. Small acts like these can lead to a wider and much further reach and potential recognition for a small female-led business that might benefit from an extra boost of exposure.
3. Spread the word.
Referrals and word of mouth are an easy, inexpensive and practical way to spread the word about a female-led business, especially when their products or services could be the solution to pain points and challenges that you or someone else may be experiencing.
4. Sharing is caring
For women entrepreneurs, starting off having access to resources that have helped others in their journey to success is something that can help propel the way forward and bypass common stumbling blocks that others may have encountered along the way. This small act of kindness can go a long way to help kickstart a female-led business and get them started on the right foot.
5. Use your leadership qualities to mentor, guide, and lead the way
Use your experiences to coach and lead women in your field of expertise by providing them with the opportunity to be mentored, guided, and encouraged by your own experiences and the knowledge you’ve acquired on your own journey.
6. Become a subscriber
Most if not all businesses create interesting and valuable content for their readers to enjoy. By subscribing to these newsletters or blogs you may find valuable information that could serve you well down the road. You’ll get the opportunity to stay informed and reap the benefits of specials, discounts, or special offers that may just come your way when you need it most.
So, if you can and are able to, why not take partake in small gestures like these and make a difference in the lives of female entrepreneurs who are trying to make headway in the world of business? Let’s make an effort to support our fellow business-owners!