BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

Well behaved women never make history

Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Hire?

Posted by ywmguest on April 15, 2010

We love our network of working women. YWM encourages you to find success in your own business. Today’s guest blogger is Maya Moore.

Are women business owners afraid to hire?

Count Me In, a New York based organization dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs succeed in business, recently released a survey confirming that very question.  The organization conducted a poll among 249 women small business owners and 537 members of the general public.

Key Findings: Women Small Business Owners
87% said growing and expanding their businesses was important
23% believed that hiring was an important factor
65% considered support of one’s family to be more important than hiring
54% said being more efficient was the best way to expand or increase revenues

According to Nell Merlino, the head of Count Me In, noted women’s failure to understand the importance of hiring in relationship to business success. She says women have a misconception about how growth occurs and that women business owners need more brains and hands to grow beyond $150,000 to $200,000 in revenue.

Results also showed that few women entrepreneurs had a long term strategic growth plan in place. The majority felt like they didn’t know enough about securing access to loans or credit cards and admitted that despite their lack of financial knowledge they rarely seek outside counsel in this area.

Key Findings: General Population
94% agreed that women just wanted to contribute to the family income and not grow a business
86% agreed that women were satisfied to have a business that is small
84% agreed that women are more risk-aversive
78% agreed that profit doesn’t mean much to women
business owners

J. D. Stevens, founder of Vircity, a Baltimore-based small business specializing in services for virtual offices,  believes that being afraid to hire new employee’s is not unique to women business owners in this economically difficult time because employees are the largest cost of a business.

John Hickman, director of the Maryland Small Business Development Center, also disagrees with the public opinion survey results. “I actually see women being equally focused on bottom line and growth of their businesses,” he states.

Women are great entrepreneurs so what’s really holding them back? Is it a matter of family conflicts, insecurities of being in charge of others or fear of spending and making money? Perhaps.

However, it’s clear that women do have a strong desire to grow their business but they don’t know how, and they lack resources, information and support.

Great organizations like Count Me In are there to help women small business owners succeed. Regardless of  individual reasons for women entrepreneurs not hiring, in order to create a business of substantial financial value, growth and profitability hiring must be apart of the overall business plan.

Maya Moore is a young business professional living and working in the city of Los Angeles, CA.  You can check out Maya’s previous posts on YWM here.

photo credit


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