Jane Sniffs Out the Sale
5 Fabulous Books Jane Encourages You to Read

Jane Opens for Business

Fortune Magazine ran an interesting article supporting the idea of Dickless Marketing, in mid-July:

FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS: Why Women Rule

According to the article, women have many reasons for starting a business, reasons Lip-sticking supposes parallel many of the reasons men start businesses also, but here they are:

To get control over their own companies 46%
Frustration with the "glass ceiling" at big companies (a phenomena that is being reported by men, these days, also, according to Lip-sticking's research) 23%
Saw a lucrative market niche and decided to fill it 24%
Misc. reasons 7%
(Center for Women's Business Research)

The article shows that women-owned businesses have a higher growth rate than male owned businesses:

Faster Females:
Over the past seven years women's firms have grown faster than men's.
Average annual growth (in percentages)
All privately held U.S. companies 4.8%
Woman-owned companies 5.6%
Source: CWBR

This should be no surprise to readers of Lip-sticking, and those who have read Dickless Marketing. As we showed in Chapter 3, Making Friends with the F Word (F as in Female), women have numerous natural advantages in this high-tech world of on-demand, e-commerce.

Our research quoted Michele Miller, author of Natural Advantages of Women when she said, "There are approximately one billion nerve cells in the human brain. Not only do women have significantly more connections between these cells than men, they also have an advantage in the region known as the corpus callosum, the main tissue bridge that links the two hemispheres of the brain." According to Michele, "Our brains are virtual superhighways of whole-thought processing!"

The Fortune Magazine article quoted Nina McLemore, a former executive at May Department Stores and Liz Claiborne Accessories. McLemore started her own clothing company in March of 2003. Her reason for doing so? "I kept hearing executive and professional women say that they had a terrible time finding the right clothes. The stuff you see in fashion magazines is a joke. So hereyou had this large group of successful baby-boom-generation women, investment bankers and lawyers with lots of disposable income, and no one in the industry was focused on designing anything they could wear to the office. I decided to do something about that."

Author Thomas J. Stanley, [Millionaire Women Next Door: The Many Journeys of Successful American Businesswomen], offers this note about women buisness owners; "Their defining characteristic is perseverance. Women have had to work harder than men. They're also more goal-oriented, more fastidious budgeters, and more frugal."

I guess running the household and caring for children, two chores still mainly relegated to women, pays off when you want to start a business -- after all, the qualities Thomas Stanley describes go hand-in-hand with taking care of home and family. It comes down to building solid relationships, learning how to network effectively, and being determined to make it on your own.

We're seeing more attention being paid to women businessowners, to female entrepreneurs, but how much of it is mere lip-service? How many of these detailed articles actually show the power of the women's market? Their intent seems to be positive, they all tout the growing women's business market, and note how tenacious women are, as well as how successful...however, the average reader [think male] is just as likely to dismiss the opportunities inherent in these reportings, as he is to leave his coffee cup -- with coffee still in it -- on the kitchen table, expecting the kitchen fairy to empty it and put it in the dishwasher.

Let's get one thing straight -- we're out there, folks. To VCs and Angel Investors: women are a good bet. We pay our bills on time and we're eager to learn whatever we need to learn to make our businesses grow. To clients, vendors, and possible partners: your future has a woman in it; she is either the owner of a company you work with or for, or she is an executive in that company -- perhaps the one signing on the bottom line for your products or services. Where the business is not her own, she is a partner or a trusted advisor. If you can approach the next five years with an open-mind to doing business with women, trusting their natural advantages and their determination to succeed, you will find yourself in good company, with extra money in your pocket to show for it.women_in_business2

What's not to like about that?

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