Article Contributed by Michele DeKinder-Smith
Most women business owners are on their own as they create, grow and run their companies – but by finding expert and community support, they can accelerate their business growth process and shorten their learning curves, reaching their greatest potential more easily in less time.
Research by a trusted authority on female entrepreneurs shows there are five distinct types of women in business. Each type of business owner has a unique approach to running a business and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article describes three of those types and outlines various ways each of them can seek that support effectively.
Jane Dough is an entrepreneur who enjoys running her business and generally, she makes a nice living. She is comfortable and determined in buying and selling, which may be why she’s five times more likely than the average female business owner to hit the million dollar mark. Jane Dough is clear in her priorities and may be intentionally and actively growing an asset-based or legacy business. It is estimated that 18% of women entrepreneurs fall in the category of Jane Dough.
With her fast pace and quick-growth style, Jane Dough will welcome expertise and will devour it eagerly. She will be a serial consumer of information as she acquires expert guidance so she can quickly and easily implement new strategies in her business for maximum potential. From marketing and social media to hiring and team development, Jane Dough’s entrepreneurial style will allow her to find the right mentor, until she is moving towards her business goals at a breakneck pace.
Merry Jane is building a part-time or “flexible time” business that gives her a creative outlet (whether she’s an ad agency consultant or she makes beautiful artwork) which she can manage within specific constraints around her schedule. She may have a day-job, or need to be fully present for family or other pursuits. Representing about 19% of women in business, she realizes she could make more money by working longer hours, but she’s happy with the tradeoff she has made because her business gives her tremendous freedom to work how and when she wants, around her other commitments.
Thanks to Merry Jane’s myriad roles and responsibilities, systems are key. Therefore, she will benefit most from experts or support people who can help her increase her efficiency using systems that tie to her business and require very little time from her. Also, Merry Jane would benefit from a mentor or expert who is well-connected to other resources in the community so that she can quickly identify solutions to her needs, and then connect with them so her needs are met just as quickly.
Tenacity Jane is an entrepreneur with an undeniable passion for her business, and one who tends to be struggling with cash flow. As a result, she’s working longer hours, and making less money than she’d like. Nevertheless, Tenacity Jane is bound and determined to make her business a success. At 31% of women in business, Tenacity Janes make up the largest group of female entrepreneurs.
Because a Tenacity Jane business owner will want to get her businesses on solid financial footing as quickly as possible, she should seek an honest mentor or expert who knows how to make a business profitable. This person must be willing be straightforward – to tell Tenacity Jane the apparent cause of the business not being as profitable as it needs to be – and then teach her how to repair the business so it can thrive.
Although running a business may feel like a solitary operation, a female entrepreneur who seeks support and guidance from experts and community members will find her journey is much easier and more enjoyable – and her business is more successful.
About the Author:
Michele DeKinder-Smith is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research, Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients such as Starbucks, Frito Lay, Tropicana, Texas Instruments, Hoover Vacuums and Verizon Wireless. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides female entrepreneurs like YOU with powerful resources, such as educational blogs, teleclasses, newsletters, and books. Take your Jane assessment to determine your own business type at www.janeoutofthebox.com Also, she is the author of two successful books for female entrepreneurs, “See Jane Succeed” (at www.seejanesucceed.com) and “See Jane Collaborate” (at www.seejanecollaborate.com).