Women-owned businesses seem to be on the rise, and there's no reason the future should be any different despite of the drastic changes that are happening right now. Well, they all say, "You can be successful if you put in the necessary work and have patience, drive, and focus." But it's stupidly easier said than done.
People who actually repeat positive-but-empty statements like that are just trying to get themselves motivated other than anyone else. With all that said, I can think of the following five ways as women-owned businesses can thrive in years to come.
1. The Moonlight Strategy
Have you ever heard about the moonlight strategy in women-owned business?
A business that is owned by more than 51 percent of women, or any other group of people who aren't represented in business, can get some help from the government especially at night. All you have to do is apply and get certified to participate in a government supplier-diversity program. Apparently, these programs are offered by your local government and the state, so you can contact them and find it out yourself.
A lot of programs offer great ideas like
- Night Owl Hours: Run your business entirely during nighttime hours. It's peaceful, and hey, who says you can't have a board meeting at midnight
- Lunar Inspiration: Make decisions based on the phases of the moon. Full moon? Time for bold moves. New moon? Maybe lay low and plan.
- Night Markets and Events: Cater to the night crowd. Think moonlit markets or star-gazing events.
Running a business at night? It's unconventional but think about the unique market you could tap into. Plus, less competition during those hours
2. Reaching Outside the Border
So, why are more and more women entrepreneurs looking beyond their country's borders? There are a few reasons that stand out.
Breaking the Glass Ceiling
- Market Expansion: No need to emphasize - If you've got something that sells well at home, why not try your luck in another country? More customers, more revenue.
- Diverse Consumer Base: Different countries offer diverse consumer bases. This diversity can be a goldmine for businesses, especially if they offer products or services that are unique or culturally adaptable.
- Technology Makes it Easier: Video marketing methods and language translation services have simplified the process of going global.
- Competitive Edge: When you play on the international field, you're upping your game. It's a chance to stand out in your industry and show that your business is not just a local player but a global contender.
Challenges? Sure, But Not Insurmountable
Of course, expanding internationally isn't a walk in the park. There are challenges, but they're not impossible to overcome.
- Cultural Differences: Understanding and adapting to different cultural norms and consumer preferences is crucial. What works in one country might not fly in another.
- Regulatory Hurdles: Each country comes with its own set of regulations. Navigating these can be tricky, but it's doable with the right research and support.
- Financial Implications: Currency exchange rates, international taxes, shipping costs – there are quite a few financial aspects to consider. But hey, that's what good planning is for, right?
3. Emotional Intelligence Approach
Emotional intelligence - empathetic leadership is all about recognizing and valuing the emotions of employees and customers. Women, often adept at emotional understanding, can leverage this to create a more cohesive and motivated team. You know how when someone feels understood, they're more likely to be engaged and committed? That's the idea here.
Empathetic leaders are responsive to the emotional needs and well-being of their team. This doesn't just create a happy workplace; it can also lead to more innovative and thoughtful decision-making. After all, when people feel cared for, they're more inclined to think creatively and take risks.
Fostering a Supportive Environment
In such a leadership model, the work environment becomes more supportive and less competitive. This can be particularly effective in reducing workplace stress and increasing job satisfaction. Imagine a workplace where everyone's well-being is a priority.
Building deep, meaningful connections can set a business apart. It's not just about making a sale; it's about understanding the client's needs, challenges, and goals. Women can excel in this aspect, creating a customer experience that's not just transactional but relational.
Human Relationships That Matter
The same approach applies internally. Building strong relationships with people means going beyond anything, really. Try understanding everyone's career aspirations, personal challenges, and strengths by talking about them loudly. So you can make an amazingly loyal workforce.
Long-Term Loyalty and Growth
In the long run, businesses that focus on building these strong, empathetic relationships are more likely to enjoy lasting success. Loyal customers and employees become advocates for the business, driving growth and stability. After all, people stick with companies that they feel a genuine connection with.
So, by combining empathetic leadership with a strong focus on relationship building, businesses can create a nurturing, productive, and ultimately successful environment. It's a strategy that taps into the natural strengths many women possess, offering a fresh and effective way to run a business. All this can increase productivity as well.
4. The Maternal Management Model
The Maternal Management Model draws inspiration from the nurturing qualities often found in mothers. Applying these qualities to a business context can create a work environment that is both supportive and productive. In this model, a caring leadership style isn't just about being kind; it's a strategic approach that recognizes the importance of each employee's well-being as a key factor in the overall success of the business.
Care Like Mothers
In a caring leadership style, leaders see themselves more as mentors or guides rather than authoritative figures.
This approach fosters trust and respect, leading to a more open and communicative workplace. Imagine a boss who not only cares about your output but also genuinely cares about how you're doing. That kind of leadership can motivate employees to go the extra mile, not out of fear or obligation, but because they feel valued and understood.
Inclusive decision-making - Much like a mother who ensures each family member's voice is heard, inclusive decision-making in business ensures that employees from all levels have a say in the company's direction and policies.
This is particularly fabulous because those working on the front lines often have invaluable insights that might be overlooked in a more top-down approach. Inclusive decision-making not only leads to better, more informed decisions but also instills a sense of ownership and pride among employees. They're not just cogs in a machine; they're active contributors to the company's fabulousness.
Such an inclusive and caring approach can have a ripple effect throughout the organization. It can lead to improved employee morale and lower turnover rates, as people are more likely to stay with a company that respects and values them. Furthermore, this positive work environment can be felt externally too, in the way the company interacts with its customers and in the overall brand image.
The Maternal Management Model is about bringing the heart back into business. It's about leading with empathy, caring genuinely for the people in the organization, and recognizing that a happy, engaged team is the foundation of a successful business. Doesn't that sound like a refreshing change from the traditional corporate approach?
5. The Wellness Warrior Way
When we talk about a holistic approach in business, it's like looking at the big picture. It's not just about the work being done; it's about the people doing it and their overall well-being. Think about it. When women view health and wellness as a whole, they consider not just physical health but emotional and mental health too. Now, apply that to a business.
In a company that values wellness, things like stress levels, work-life balance, and mental peace are taken seriously. It's not just about meeting deadlines and boosting sales. It's about creating a work environment where people feel good physically and mentally.
This could mean flexible work hours, spaces for relaxation and exercise in the office, or even encouraging breaks and vacations. The cool part? When employees are healthy and happy, they tend to do their best work. It's a win-win situation.
Prioritizing Mental Health - Happy People, Successful Business
In a business that prioritizes mental health, employees feel supported not just as workers but as people. This can mean having open conversations about mental health, providing resources like counseling, or just making sure the workload is manageable.
When people are mentally healthy, they're more creative, focused, and motivated. They're better at solving problems and coming up with new ideas. And let's not forget, they're generally happier and more pleasant to work with. So, prioritizing mental health doesn't just make employees feel better; it actually makes the business more successful.
In the end, the Wellness Warrior Way is all about understanding that a healthy, happy team is the key to a thriving business. It's about caring for your employees in a way that uplifts them and, in turn, uplifts the business.
The Misuse of Sex Appeal in Business
Let's talk about how some women in the business world might use their sexiness as a kind of weapon. Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently wrong with being confident in your appearance. But you know there's a line.
When sex appeal stops being about self-confidence and starts being a tool for manipulation or gaining unfair advantages, that's when things get iffy. Imagine a scenario where a deal is clinched not because of a great pitch or a solid business plan, but rather because someone decided to play the sexiness card.
Crossing the Line
We all know by now that we should stay away from people who rely on looks over talent or hard work. It's not just about the person using their sex appeal; it also affects the environment they're in. Think about it. If someone's getting ahead because of their looks, doesn't that set a bad standard?
It's like telling others that skills and experience aren't as valuable. And let's not forget, it's already creating an uncomfortable vibe. You never know what really is going on with the management.
The Ripple Effect
This isn't just about one person or one business. It's bigger than that, right? When sexiness becomes a business strategy, it sort of muddies the waters for everyone. It's not just about fairness in opportunities; it's also about how women in business are perceived. If the norm becomes using sex appeal as a tool, doesn't that undermine the achievements of women who've worked hard to get where they are? Plus, think about the message it sends to the next generation of young professionals. We want them to aim for success based on their merits, don't we?
Get The Balance Right
Now, I'm not saying everyone needs to show up to work in potato sacks. It's totally cool to take pride in your appearance. The key is balance. It's about knowing the difference between self-confidence and manipulation. In a perfect world, business decisions would be made based on talent, hard work, and innovation. Wouldn't that be great? That way, everyone gets a fair shot based on what they bring to the table, not how they look.
So, what's the takeaway here? It's simple. Business should be about what you know, not how you look. Using sexiness as a weapon? That's just a shortcut that does more harm than good. We're better than that!
Fannie is a university dropout. She doesn't care because she knows what matters is to be happy. She loves to write, read, travel, and paint (her face). She enjoys finding new pastry restaurants with friends and also expanding her karate skills, exercising daily with her wife.