What if I told you that 50 per cent of women I surveyed don’t pay themselves regularly, or that female founders pay themselves less than their male counterparts?
Did you know that women are 20 per cent less likely to share when their business is doing well or that in one study conducted by Merrill Lynch, 61 per cent of women said they would rather discuss the details of their own death than money?!
That’s the reality based on personal polling of several hundred women in my community alongside global research.
With women making up just over a third of all Australian business operators (34 per cent or 668,670 women), there has been a 46 per cent increase in the number of female business operators over the past two decades. Whilst these numbers are exciting to see, the reality is that many women haven’t been taught how to run profitable businesses and plan for growth.
One of the biggest issues I see for female business owners is feast or famine behaviour. Many of the business owners I speak with and work with experience high and low revenue months, but as cashflow management isn’t what it needs to be, those lower-income months mean zero income for the owner.
Four issues that I see in the female entrepreneurial space right now are:
1. The lack of financial and cash management knowledge
Understanding the basics of business and cashflow management is something that every business owner needs to learn, understand and execute. Realising that revenue doesn’t equal money in your pocket at the most basic level is critical.
2. Fat banker syndrome
This is my own unique term after discovering from my clients that sometimes they hoard money in their bank account and don’t pay themselves. They watch the balance increase over time but fear using it in case more doesn’t come in.
3. Lack of business & sales strategy and execution
Social media can be both a blessing and a curse to the business owner. It’s great to have access to free marketing tools but many small business owners have a post and wish strategy. They create copious amounts of content, post it and hope that something sticks without having a clear sales and marketing strategy that is planned, executed and then measured.
4. Clear growth and investment planning
Having a clear growth strategy for the business. Where are we now? Where do we want to be in the next two, three or five years? Without clear sales and marketing strategies, many business owners don’t allocate a budget to grow their business or reinvest to improve things.
We need to talk more about how we can support women in business to become financially successful and profitable. In the women in business space, money mindset is a hot topic, but it’s not the only issue. Money education is the root problem.
The Australian Superannuation Funds Association and the Retire Income Review shared that:
- 75 per cent of self-employed Aussies don’t contribute to their super.
- Self-employed people generally retire with 50 per cent less super than everyone else.
- Self-employed women generally retire with 70 per cent less super than employee men.
As a business community, the more we talk about savvy money habits for business owners, the more financial wealth we can experience as a community.