Archive for the 'Women business ownership' Category

RESULTS: How do you feel today about your decision to be a small business owner?

The Question:
How do you feel today about your decision to be a small business owner?

66% - I’ve never regretted my decision to be a small business owner.
13% - Things started off rocky, but I’m now happy with my decision.
21% - It seems my best days as a small business owner are behind me.
0% -  I wish I had never done this. What was I thinking?

Jim’s Comments:
As you know, in the intervening years since the financial meltdown of 2008, we’ve gone from where survival was seen as success to weathering a long and laborious recovery to maybe, just maybe, starting to get some expansion traction.  Any small business owner who’s come through all of that and still in business is the marketplace equivalent of a combat veteran.

As I’ve said many times, small business owners are pathological optimists, operating all in, against all odds, often feeling very much alone, and all for the possibility of just making a living. So after all we’ve been through, and with assorted headwinds still in our face, it’s great to see almost eight of ten of you are happy to be running a small business.

Goodonya, my friends.  Keep up the good work because the world depends on you.

Focus: Getting your small business on the right track

One of my favorite things to do is talk with real small business owners and get them to reveal the things they do to grow their businesses, especially in a challenging economic environment.  Recently, on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I talked with entrepreneur and inventor, Debbie Meyer, and asked her to offer a few words of wisdom. Debbie is unique in a couple of ways:

1. Unlike many entrepreneurs, who are great at creating but not so much at managing, Debbie has proven to be both a visionary and a great manager.

2.  Stereotypical inventors are good at inventing, but not so much at taking their product to market successfully. Debbie has overcome that baggage with a very successful market penetration.

So when Debbie talks about how to get your business ready for the challenges ahead, people listen. Debbie’s message this day is about focusing: Pay attention to the really important elements of your business, identify the ones that work and modify or get rid of the ones that don’t.

Debbie is co-CEO and co-founder of Housewares America, Inc. as well as a member of my Brain Trust. Take a few minutes to listen to my conversation with Debbie and, as always, leave your own thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!

One inspirational small business survival story

When big businesses get into a bind, the sheer size and calamities of any one of them is such a huge story that politicians feel they must get involved. But remember, there are only a few thousand of those companies.

For America’s small businesses, The Great Recession created a lot of financial pain, organizational damage and way too many failures. But when the recent economic conditions cause problems for any one of these 26 million heroes, the story likely won’t even make the local paper. And as we’ve seen, any help for small businesses from our so-called political “leaders” has been lip service at best and bad policy at worst.

Please allow me to report on one of America’s small business Great Recession stories. Think you’ve had it bad? Had to overcome a lot, did you? Got tough times? Listen to Gigi Stetler, as she talked with me recently on my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, first about being a woman business owner in a male-dominated industry, and then she reveals the greatest challenge she had to deal with.

Gigi is the author of Unstoppable: Surviving Is Just the Beginning… and the only female owner of two RV dealerships in the U.S. Take a few minutes to listen to Gigi’s story and, as always, leave your thoughts and your story. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Ladies, solve problems, don’t just manage them

Since 1997, I’ve devoted many hours of programing on my radio show that focuses on issues that are at least more dramatic, if not unique, for women small business owners than for men.  I conducted this programming with women who are either experts on the topic of women making their way in the marketplace, or they are women who have overcome these challenges, or both.

Debbie Meyer is both. She’s an inventor, an entrepreneur and she’s a highly successful business owner. Debbie invented the Green Bags, among other innovations that make life easier, and is co-CEO and co-founder of Housewares America, Inc. And she’s a member of my Brain Trust.

Recently, Debbie joined me again on The Small Business Advocate Show and I asked her about my theory that one of the problems women bring on themselves is thinking that it’s enough to manage a problem instead of find a way to solve it and get rid of it. Debbie agreed with me, and we discussed this issue. Take a few minutes to listen to my conversation with Debbie and, as always, leave your own thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!

Promoting women small business ownership

Women business owners are the fastest growing segment of the small business sector, currently representing around half of all business ownership.  And women have come a long way in their quest to overcome obstacles and challenges that are unique to them, such as access to credit, just to name one issue.
Since I first began broadcasting my radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show, I’ve made it a point to include plenty of programming on women business ownership issues, which has created a number of important relationships with the best experts on women in business in the world.  Over the years, this group of experts and I have produced a significant body of work on this topic, of which we are very proud.
Recently two of the ladies in my Brain Trust have joined my on my show to talk about how women can start, run and grow their businesses.  First, Mary Cantando and I talked about women helping other women as she introduced her 2010 Woman’s Advantage Calendar. Mary is the author of The Woman’s Advantage and a recognized authority on women’s business initiatives. By the way, Mary mentions a special code that will get you a discount if you want to purchase her calendar.
Also joining me is one of the newest members of my Brain Trust, certified financial counselor,  Hollis Colquhoun (pronounced Calhoun), who is the co-author of Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide. We talked about how women can take control over their personal financial health while they do the same for their families. Take a few minutes to listen to my conversations with these very smart ladies. And be sure to let us know about your own experiences.
Mary Cantando’s interview: Listen Live! Download, Too!
Hollis Colquhoun’s interview: Listen Live! Download, Too!

The growing phenomenon of women business ownership

For the past 30 years, marketplace forces and the evolution of business technology have continued to move in the direction of democratization. This means more productive tools designed for the size tasks of small businesses and offered at incremental price points that fit their diminutive budgets.

Today, technological leverage for small businesses is comparable to big businesses. And when you take their inherent flexibility into consideration, it’s easy to see how smaller and smaller enterprises are, within their scale of operation, increasingly able to compete with the big guys.

One of the groups that falls into that “smaller and smaller enterprise” category is women-owned businesses. Historically, women have not started businesses at the same rate as men for many reasons, not the least of which was access to capital. But for the period of time that not coincidentally tracks perfectly with the incrementalization of technology, women-owned businesses have become the fastest growing segment of the marketplace. With more powerful tools at prices that fit their smaller caches of capital, women business owners have become an entrepreneurial force to reckon with, and there is no reason to believe that this trend won’t continue.

Over the years I’ve made a commitment to regularly cover this growing phenomenon of women business ownership on my small business radio program, The Small Business Advocate Show. Recently, I’ve interviewed several experts on this topic, including Kim Lavine, author of Mommy Millionaire, Mary Cantando, author of The Woman’s Advantage, and Janet Christy, author of Capitalizing on Being Woman-Owned. In these interviews we’ve discussed the issues that are unique to women in business, including both the challenges and the opportunities.

Here are links to these three interviews, plus a link to the body of work I’ve amassed on our website where you can find dozens of interviews with women-in-business experts.

Kim Lavine Listen Live! Download, Too!
Mary Cantando Listen Live! Download, Too!
Janet Christie Listen Live! Download, Too!
Full list of women-in business archives

Take a few minutes to listen to these experts and, of course, be sure to leave your thoughts.




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