Tuesday, May 02, 2006

What do women entrepreneurs want?

According to a recent survey by RBC Financial Group, personal priorities are more important than money in motivating women to start their own businesses.

Just 23% of women polled said getting wealthy was a prime motivator for owning their own business. The comparable figure for men was 36%.

By contrast, 63% of women said they wanted a more flexible working schedule. (Editor's note: What were they thinking?)

According to Kris Depencier, RBC's national manager for small business, "for a large portion of these women, building a business is not only a labour of love, but also a way to balance work and family obligations."

The survey found other differences between men and women entrepreneurs:

* Currently, more women (73%) were first-time business owners than men (65%);
* Women are more likely to employ a spouse or child in the business (59% of women vs 47% of men).

Men and women described surprisingly similar frustrations when asked about their key problems in launching and running a business. Their three main challenges:

* finding customers (57% women/56% men);
* keeping a steady workload (37% women/38% men);
* and working long hours (34% each). (Editor's note: See previous editor's note.)

In my experience, people who get into their own business to gain more control over their time are like a kid who joins the army to get some peace and quiet.

Marketer's takeaway: How can you help entrepreneurs find more time in their schedules? How can you help them make the most of the spare hours they find to themselves?

Or better still: how can you help them land more customers?
Chant that like a mantra and you will always have the entrepreneur's ear.

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