The glass ceiling for women has never been lower. Thanks to a major shift in the mindset of women across the globe, women are no longer accepting the “shrinking violet” mindset, and instead creating opportunities for themselves. Although we’ve progressed tremendously and have seen women in power as CEOs and Heads of State, there is still a gender pay gap in the business world. The Good Ol’ Boys network is still very much alive and well. But those old school archaic mindsets have not stopped women from succeeding in business. Because of the double standards that are sometimes prevalent in the corporate world, many women have decided to take matters into their own hands and create their own destinies. According to a Forbes magazine article, there are 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the US currently, and in the next five years, over half of all small business jobs will be created from women-owned businesses. For once, women are able to tap into their creative nature and create promising futures for themselves on their own terms. Women who venture into the world of retail sales are extremely fortunate in the marketplace. Even in a struggling economy, women are still the top spenders in the nation. Women account for most of the purchasing decisions in their households, and continue to purchase smaller items such as jewelry and beauty supplies even when their residual income is less than their usual income. The allure of purchasing from a woman owned business is an added plus when making purchasing decisions. Women owned businesses tend to pay attention to smaller details in their corporate culture. They find it necessary to add money in their budget to improve their packaging or give Customer Appreciation specials; Whereas companies run by men are more cut and dry, and more need based as opposed to providing optional luxury items. They also tend to add unnecessary, but very convenient perks to their employees such as on site child care, extended flex time, and company retreats. They find ways to restructure their businesses to include the little things that make life easier for other women.
Smart female entrepreneurs have figured out that small tweaks to their businesses can land them big bucks. What may seem extremely trivial to the male consumer is sometimes the make or break decision making element to a female consumer. Having a warm towel at the end of each manicure is worth the extra $5 in gas you may spend to go across town to the competition. And having certain services outsourced to other parties to speed up the process and offer you a ‘VIP option’ is sometimes the psychological boost that most women need to make their day. It is no secret that people have a tendency to put in more effort in situations where they are the happiest. A stiff corporate environment where women are outnumbered and female ideas are not necessarily welcome is enough to inspire most women to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. By recreating their environment, they are much happier working 16 hour days than they would be in the glass ceiling environment at a major corporation with a historically dominant male leadership force. Flexibility and encouragement are key factors in whether or not a woman will be happy in her work environment. It also gives them more hope that their futures will be financially secure in spite of any male influence. Do you know a female entrepreneur that ROCKS? What secrets from their business acumen can others learn from them to improve their businesses?