Being an entrepreneur is tough. Being a female entrepreneur is tougher but we’ve come a long way since Avon opened the door for women back at the turn of the century. From computers to cupcakes, women are making their own way with both brick and mortar businesses and online ventures.
A recent survey conducted by Web.com Group, Inc. and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) shows an uptick in optimism among women entrepreneurs. 81% of those surveyed felt good about where their business was headed and 85% thought 2013 was going to be the year of the female entrepreneur.
Though most people associate running your own business with freedom, entrepreneurs know that it actually means you work harder and longer than anyone else. That’s okay, said the women in this survey because their main reason for starting their business was to realize their vision – they saw a need and they want to see it through.
But even the most successful entrepreneurs experience a few sleepless nights. 57% said they worry about the state of the economy, 40% are concerned about the cost of health insurance and 36% worry about business tax issues.
When it comes to marketing, 73% of those surveyed plan to increase spending in the coming year. Almost half of women business owners said that SEO and social media were the future of small business marketing and that they had a big impact on their bottom line. 52% said the only thing more important was website design and maintenance.
Traditional marketing barely showed up as a blip on the survey:
- Print and direct mail: 1.6%
- Email marketing: 6.2%
- Even online advertising came in at only 4.4%
The women were asked, which social media network was the most valuable and LinkedIn came out on top but with only 27% of the vote. Facebook followed with 26%, then YouTube with 18% and Twitter with 17%.
When asked what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur, most said you had to have passion for the idea. After that, they said you had to have a long-term plan for success and the willingness to take risks and fail.
I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes from top female entrepreneurs:
“My best successes came on the heels of failures.”
– Barbara Corcoran, real estate investor, Shark on the ABC show Shark Tank
“If you are committed to creating value and if you aren’t afraid of hard times; obstacles become utterly unimportant. A nuisance perhaps; but with no real power. The world respects creation; people will get out of your way.”
– Candice Carpenter of iVillage
“Until you’re ready to look foolish, you’ll never have the possibility of being great.”