Small Business Should Be Recognized and Supported
Which means, WOMEN Should Be Recognized and Supported, in Small Business
The economy is a favorite subject of business and political pundits, today. The economy is an ever-present issue in our lives - all day, every day. Hence, it baffles me why it only gets attention -- major attention -- during an election year. I will openly admit here, on this blog, that I am clueless on the whole, "I'll fix the economy," promises made by our politicians. They seldom say how...and, when they do offer what they consider solutions, those solutions do not meet with the reality of life as I know it. In other words, their solutions are not well-thought out. I challenge them to bring together a group of small business owners, and ask US what they can do to help.
Since this is not a political blog, it's a blog about marketing to women online (and off), I'll not venture further into the flapping tongues of our current crop of presidential-wanna-be's. However, I do want to touch upon the small business topic. Because, as we all know, small business is the backbone of this country. Without small businesses, this country would flounder on all fronts; employment, goods and services, training, travel, you name it, small business owners are vital to it.
Why then, are small business owners - women small business owners (who make up the majority of small businesses in the U.S.) - treated poorly by banks, ignored by government, and given the cold shoulder by big business leaders - especially WOMEN in power positions in big business? Women like Anne Mulcahy (Xerox), Susan Arnold (P&G), Brenda Barnes (Sara Lee), Indra Nooyi (PerpsiCo). I'd like to know when any one of those women, or the other 46 noted in the Fortune Mag's 50 Most Powerful, went out of her way to help a small business owner secure a loan, get marketing support, or find a reasonable location to do business from?
Why don't these women take one day, two hours of one day, once in a while, to invite a group of women small business owners to a free luncheon with a good business advice presenter? When they're busy doing all of their keynotes to other big business executives, why can't they sponsor just ONE small business owner to attend whatever high-level, expensive conference they're speaking at? The "Why" questions abound...
I don't have the answer. I only have two places YOU CAN GO to learn more, to be part of the solution (by buying from women in small business), and to make a difference. THIS is how you market to women...by sharing educational opportunities, by recognizing their issues (they talk about them all the time), and by meeting them where they hang-out, whether that's on their neighbor's deck, at their local coffee shop, or on the net.
Heidi Richards Mooney who supports women across the net, just released her International Who's Who Directory of Women in eCommerce. (yes, my company, WME Books is there). I am sharing this via Toby Bloomberg's Diva Marketing blog, a favorite place of mine...although I was alerted to the release when it hit the net, a few weeks ago.
It's my bad that I have not mentioned it earlier...and Toby's good that she is on top of things. As Toby notes, this Who's Who is a "57-page ebook recognizing women who promote their businesses to a global marketplace via the Internet." Thanks go to Heidi for compiling it.
Another place to visit where you'll get straight answers on how to business a successful business (with a focus on women and entrepreneurship), is the new Womens Entrepreneur's Blog at Simon, sponsored by the Simon Graduate School of Business. It's a WME Blogs development, and I do contribute content from time to time, but the blog was the brainchild of entrepreneur Dennis Kessler, and has attracted some fantastic women to write in it. These are women who came up the ranks the hard way...women in business and government, who will share their stories and advice in this blog. It's a testament to the power of women giving back.
I don't expect the government, not McCain, nor Obama, nor Clinton, to solve the problems of today's economy. Not in time to do much for my bottomline...this year, anyway. I do think small business owners, the many women (and men) who operate businesses out of storefronts and in their homes and in buildings they had to beg the bank to give them a loan for, to make a difference. If we can work together, we can solve the economy issue faster and more effectively. If we recognize the power women have to lead the cause, I know we can see a positive change in the economy.
The sites mentioned here are at the forefront of that kind of thinking. Are you ready to join us?