New Survey Reports that Women Business Owners are Bullish in 2014

021328544-2successful-woman-squareThe second-annual State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, compiled by Web.com and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), is out and women business owners have positive things to say about their outlook on 2014. Over 600 women business owners (WBO) were surveyed, and they had positive things to say about this year and their female entrepreneurial colleagues.

89% of the WBO surveyed reported that they were optimistic about their overall business performance in 2014 and 87% said that they were optimistic about their economic outlook as well. This was up twelve percentage points from 2013. These women had a positive outlook for other female entrepreneurs as well with 92% predicting that more women will start businesses this year.

“Women small business owners are not just more optimistic about their own businesses, they’re also more bullish about the prospects for female entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Our report shows that 92 percent of WBOs predict that more women will start their own business this year – an eight percent jump over 2013,” said Billie Dragoo, national board chair of NAWBO. “With a positive outlook and strong entrepreneurial spirit, women business owners continue to be a driving force of our economy.”

The fact was that many women gave up corporate benefits and the price of the glass ceiling to create something that was all their own. What does it take to be a successful WBO? The women surveyed focused on these three main components for creating a successful company:  a passion for the business idea, a long-term vision for where she wants to take her company, and a willingness to fail before she succeeds. It was interesting to note that the top concern for 90% of the WBOs was gaining new customers although customer service, marketing, product innovation and hiring quality employees also ranked as major concerns.

The survey indicated that social media and online marketing were valued tools for WBO. However, only 54% of the women surveyed said that they had confidence in their online marketing capabilities. In fact, only 67% said that they used social media to promote their businesses and interact with customers although 85% of WBO acknowledged that social media was essential for growing their business. That’s a gap of 18%. Social media can be powerful tools for business, but the survey showed that many of us worry that we can’t use it properly. It’s like having a sports car at our disposal, but only half of us have the confidence to take it out of the driveway.

“Women small business owners recognize the importance of the web, mobile and social media to engage, capture and nurture customer relationships, and they are increasing investments in these resources to drive growth,” said David L. Brown, chairman, CEO and president of Web.com. “However, WBOs face unique challenges in social media, where they lack either the expertise or time to realize the full potential of this channel. Small business owners who prioritize the web and social media in their marketing mix – or find a partner to help them gain this expertise – will reap the benefits of increased customer engagement and satisfaction.”

There are challenges facing entrepreneurial women in 2014, but clearly women are looking forward to a profitable and successful year ahead. To view the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report infographic, click here.

 

Sources:

Brown, David. “Women Business Owners Shed Light on Top Small Business Trends in 2014.” Huffington Post. 13 March 2014. Web. 16 March 2014.

“Women Business Owners Universally Optimistic About 2014 Business Outlook, Plan to Invest More in Social Media and Mobile Presence, Finds Report by NAWBO, Web.com.” Web.com. 12 March 2014. Web. 16 March 2014.