5 Reasons Women in Business Fail and How Not To Become Another Statistic

5 Reasons Women in Business Fail and How Not To Become Another Statistic

Okay, so I’m a pretty optimistic person. I believe, especially as women, we can do anything we put our mind to. And I was taught from a very young age that girls can do anything boys can do… 

BUT

To achieve our dreams and goals some realities need to be faced. 

So I want to help out my fellow businesswomen by sharing the 5 most significant things that could hold you back from success.

1. Breaking down systemic cycles and belief systems about women making their own money, creating independence and wealth, building a business on their own terms (to name a few). 

It was when I read Jane Caro’s book – Accidental Feminists that I realised our grandmothers and mothers were the first generations of women to earn their own money. #WTF

This actually blew my mind.

I mean, of course, I knew this on some level yet it’s always been the norm for the women in my family to work and earn money. 

I guess I’d never actually considered the generations that came before. 

So really, women earning their own money is a reasonably new construct (in the scheme of things). Hence there are a lot of underlying beliefs about women and money, women in sales, women in business, women creating wealth, women running businesses that are unresourceful, and unhelpful.

It’s critical to uncover the cycles you need to break to make sure they’re not unconsciously holding you back. 

2. Doing it alone, not having a solid support network 

Business can be lonely. 

Some would say the odds are stacked against us yet, the stats are moving in the right direction (yay!). 

35% of businesses in Australia are women-owned with a 46% increase in the number of women business operators over the past two decades (compared to 27% for men).*

With this growth comes more networking groups and communities of like-minded women in business popping up. 

When I first started looking (after almost 5 years running a solo business) there weren’t many around. This is one of the reasons Ness and I started Business Together (B2). In fact, it was the main reason. Because we know that as women in business, together we’re smarter and stronger. 

Have you ever heard the saying ‘A burden shared is a burden halved?’ Imagine sharing your problems with other women who ‘get’ it – trust me, it’s helpful!

You can find ongoing connections with other awesome business owners through things like Business Retreats, Masterminds, Business Communities. 

In fact we have one coming up shortly – just in time for the world to be opening up again. Check it out here 

Remember this is not a new concept! Women have been coming together, strength in numbers, for centuries. Let me explain a little more about what I mean here. 

3. No up-skilling in other areas outside of your genius zone 

This is something that has been reported (by the ABS) as being one of the main reasons SMB’s fail. You might’ve gone into business because you’re passionate, or really good at your craft. But no one told you you’d have to get good at sales and managing cash flow. And even if they did – it always seems easier in theory. 

What I’m about to say is absolutely critical when it comes to biz success. 

You must learn how to manage your money! 

And you must learn how to sell and grow your business sustainably! 

We have so many resources on these two key areas for you to devour. To get you started check out this blog on the money management red flags your ignoring and how to fix them and how to abondon push sales techniques and embrace a new way of selling

4. Trying to fit into a male-dominated structure. 

A large portion of my experience before starting my own business was in Corporate. I learned first-hand what it’s like to be on the outer of a ‘boys club’.  

Then starting my business, I realised there’s a lot of hustle style approaches out there, a lot of ‘shoulds’ around how to run and grow a business. 

Honestly, it left me feeling a little less than inspired when it didn’t fit my natural style not to mention I didn’t feel like I could wholly be myself in my business. 

There’s a delicate mix of masculine and feminine energy that’s required to make the ultimate recipe for business success. 

Though we’re not often taught that feminine energy is a highly valuable business trait. Instead, we’re taught how to do it in a very masculine way, to make sure we fit into the mould. 

I encourage you to bring critical thinking to what you see and hear (or are told) about the way you ‘should’ be doing business. 

5. Subscribing to the belief that sales has to be pushy and fake

Here’s the truth of it. Women are often better at selling and sales once they overcome the barriers of not wanting to be too pushy or fake. 

In fact, when they do the opposite of this and tap into their curious, collaborative nature, they’re more likely to build trust easily. This removes barriers to the sale and instead the focus is on genuinely uncovering the need and solving the potential client’s problem. 

According to Harvard Business Review, high-performing women in sales are more likely to emphasise connecting, shaping solutions and collaborating. The need for this style of selling is becoming more and more desired by clients, particularly as we navigate the pandemic. 

Let’s summarise…

Now there’s a whole bunch of other barriers specific to women in business we could talk about like the increased expectation and demands on women outside of work or the fact that women-led businesses receive less support in funding despite research showing they generate more revenue – sometimes up to twice as much per dollar invested. 

But for now, why not use this checklist to make sure you don’t become another broken statistic in a system of failed businesses…

1. Work on breaking the cycles (and beliefs) that could be holding you back without you realising it 

2. Find a community that you connect with who support and understand you. You might like to join us at our next Business Retreat in November 2021

3. Upskill in areas outside of your genius zone ie. sales and managing your finances 

4. Break the male-dominated mould and define what success looks like on your own terms

5. Embrace a new way of selling and get great at sales

*Source ABS

 

If you want to uncover what else could be holding you back from creating a wildly profitable business you love, without having to sacrifice life, let’s chat! 

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Busting Myths about Sales Processes in business

Busting Myths about Sales Processes in business

There’s often a disconnect between the importance of a sales process if you’re a solo business owner or have a small team. There’s a perception that you have to have a big business to justify a sales approach. I want to bust this myth and tell you why a sales process has a direct link to profitability AND creating a business you love.

    Let's talk

    If you’re ready to take your business to the next level book in an appointment to chat with one of us. By talking with you we will be able to tell which of our programs will most benefit you at your stage of business.

    What to do if Profit First doesn’t work for you

    What to do if Profit First doesn’t work for you

    One of the game changers in my business when it comes to managing money was reading Profit First. I was so impressed I hired a Profit First trained consultant to set everything up for me within days of finishing the book.

    Armed with the *very expense* formulated excel spreadsheet, I was on my way and ready to see my profits soar! The promise of two times the results with half the effort sounded too good to be true – I was in hook, line and sinker.

    But it didn’t take long before it stopped working for me. And the first three times I couldn’t make distributions my spreadsheet was telling me to, I was ready to throw in the towel.

    Luckily, instead of stopping altogether, I decided to adapt it to fit for me. If it worked for me, it might just work for you too.

    Here are two aspects of Profit First that WILL work for anyone:

    1. Separate Bank Accounts

    A huge game-changer for me was setting up a separate account for annualised and regular payments. I added up the annual expenses (e.g. insurance, accountant, all monthly ongoing subscriptions, etc) and divided that by each fortnight to make sure there is enough to cover all those big bills when they come in. It’s been such a relief to know they are all covered no matter what my cash flow looks like at the time.

    2. Twice A Month

    Still doing this two years later. Every 1st and 15th of the month, I have blocked out an hour in my calendar to update and transfer my money, pay bills and update my cashflow spreadsheet. This discipline means that I am not missing anything, and it’s super time-efficient. 

    Here’s are two aspects of Profit First that will NOT work for everyone:

    1. Irregular Income

    Most businesses have weeks or months with high income, followed by the same of low income. Even if you can rely on a similar amount of income each month, at times life throws us a curveball and one of two things happen:

    1. A sure thing becomes not a sure thing – a client cancels, life happens for them, a pandemic hits
    2. An unexpected expense turns up – maybe your laptop dies, you smash your phone, or heaven forbid, you become sick and can’t deliver your services

    When the cash flow dip comes, the Profit First system doesn’t work because there is barely enough to cover expenses, let alone pay yourself first.

    2. Income targets aren’t hit

    Some businesses have a long lag-time between all the outbound marketing and sales and when that money shows up on invoices. When I worked in corporate, it could take months before the appropriate person signed off a proposal. I remember nurturing a lead for two years before he became a client!

    When you focus only on the sales, and not on the things that lead to sales (like marketing, networking, etc), then your energy can get all out of whack and you send off needy vibes. That’s not a good place to be, especially if you’re freaking out about your Profit First distributions!

    What to do if Profit First doesn’t work for you

    If this is you, don’t despair! The solution is about finding what does work for your specific business and adapting the Profit First system to ensure you are still making progress. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that:

    1. When you are in a period of high income in your business, put aside a larger portion to cover the lower months (your cash flow forecast should be able to guide you here)
    2. Keep a tally of any amounts you weren’t able to transfer (e.g. to your GST savings account) so that, the next time you’re in surplus, you can pay that money back
    3. Build up a buffer of three months of expenses to cover those longer droughts. This account is separate from everything else. I call mine ‘Emergency Fund’.

    Have you resonated with any of this? If so, it might be a great time for a deep dive into your business with our True North in Business Diagnostic. You will complete a business health check, understand your natural behavioural style and leave with a bespoke roadmap for your business. This roadmap outlines clear next steps for you to create your profitable, wildly successful business without having to sacrifice your time or your life. Find out more by adding your details below and I will be in touch.

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    Abandon Pushy Sales Techniques and be Amazed at Your New Sales Results

    Abandon Pushy Sales Techniques and be Amazed at Your New Sales Results

    Do your palms get sweaty, your heart starts racing, you can’t quite find the words when you think about ‘closing’ a sale. 

    Is there a sense of dread and avoidance when you have to talk price to a potential new client?

    Chances are, when you think of selling and sales, images of pushy used-car salesmen come to mind.

    You probably have memories of feeling forced into saying yes to something. Or have heard horror stories about icky salespeople using icky sales techniques. 

    What if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? 

    This type of selling is very (unresourcefully) masculine in its approach. And it’s a one-trick pony that’s fast becoming out of date. 

    Trying to be slick, hustling, smashing it… are all very push focused and as buyers, we’ve become more attuned to the BS in front of us. 

    HEADS UP! Be aware you can go too far the other way from sheer avoidance of not wanting to be too pushy. This becomes too (unresourcefully) feminine in your approach to onboarding and signing new clients. 

    You’ll know if this is you if you don’t like talking about price, you’re not asking enough questions to uncover the real need, you’re not working through the potential client’s concerns for fear of being pushy or overall, you’re not making it easy for them to say yes. 

    What I’m about to tell you will change your world…

    Think of sales like a dance. *Cue Dancing With The Stars visuals here.

    An expert is leading the dance and a celebrity is being guided and learning as they go along. 

    Mic Drop: You’re the expert dancer and your clients are the celebrities. 

    As the expert, you want to make sure they’re taken care of, you’re moving at their pace whilst still guiding them along towards an outcome ie. the end of the dance. 

    Consider what would happen in each of these scenarios:

    • You’re leading the dance too aggressively and quickly, so quickly that your celebrity partner can’t keep up. How does that make them feel?
    • You don’t start the dance at all. Do you end up just standing there staring at each other, waiting for someone to make a move? #awks Of course, they’ll be waiting for you to make the first move. You’re the expert, they don’t know what the first step is.
    • You start the dance beautifully together. You’re leading, your partner is having a great time and then just before you get to the end of the song, you suddenly stop. 

    Top Tip: the last scenario is an example of you having a great sales conversation with a client and then not asking if they’d like to work with you or buy your beautiful product. 

    If you think of sales like a dance, you’ll organically have the perfect flow of masculine and feminine energies to guide your potential clients to their ideal outcome. 

    Sales can be really enjoyable when you focus on a win/win instead of ‘not being pushy’. In fact, focusing on not being pushy is a way of making it all about you, not your client. This is one of the number one sales mistakes people make. 

    The problem is that you’re focusing on yourself when you’re worried about how you’re coming across, not genuinely understanding if there’s a need you can help fulfil. 

    So ask yourself:

    • Does your potential (or existing) client have a need or problem they’d like solved?
    • Is your product or service a great fit to help with this?

    If you got 2 yes’s, you’re doing your clients a disservice by not selling to them. 

    Stop worrying about being fake and too salesy, and start focusing on how you can help them. In other words, start leading that dance baby 💃 

    If you want to uncover what else could be holding you back from creating a wildly profitable business you love, without having to sacrifice life, let’s chat!  

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