Many women cite issues securing suitable child care, inflexible work arrangements, a lack of meaningful part time work and a desire to be their own boss and work on their own terms as key motivators to go into business. I can vouch that all of these were key motivators for me to launch my first business back in 2011 after the birth of my three children.
I believe that science also plays a part in fuelling a women’s desire to go into business. In 2008, a US neuroscientist named Craig Kingsley, discovered that the birth of a child actually sees an increase in the learning capacity and memory of women. Mothers develop expert problem solving skills with many women starting businesses to provide solutions to unmet problems they have identified in the marketplace or experienced first-hand themselves.
The rise of women, particularly mum led businesses in Australia is significant. We are seeing a shift and expansion in the purchasing power of women. Now not only are women responsible for the majority of purchasing of groceries, holidays and clothing, they are now substantial purchasers and consumers of legal and accounting services, office leases, electronic goods, insurance, printing services and office supplies. This represents a great opportunity for many small businesses.
Here are five things you can do to tap into the growing number of women led enterprises to drive your business growth.
#1 Review your ideal client
With new financial year plans well underway in many businesses, now is a great time to review who is your ideal client or customer. This could be a survey of your top 20% of clients or customers to better understand who they are and what problems they are experiencing. Are women led businesses a growing part of your business? If you decide you want to target women led businesses consider speaking to them to better understand their problems and how your products or services could provide the solutions. I have always found women to be very supportive and willing to share their opinions.
#2 Redirect your promotional dollars
If women are running more than a third of all Australian businesses, does your marketing budget reflect this? In preparing next financial year’s marketing spend look to allocate 30% or more into securing more of this growing market segment.
#3 Review your branding and promotional messaging
In order to increase your sales conversions to women led businesses I strongly recommend you review your promotional messages, language, brand stories you share and look at the way you depict women in your promotional materials. In my experience working with mums, they show a high distaste for businesses which stereotype women or treat them as though they are all the same or stupid.
#4 Look for strategic partnerships
Marketing partnerships are one of the fastest ways to grow a business. Identify suitable female business networking groups and brainstorm potential opportunities to work together for mutual benefit. Marketing partnerships can be a great vehicle to share promotions and secure new business.
#5 Get social
Women love social media; both for business and personal use. Ensure your business has a strong social strategy and start investing in growing your online community. Relationships with brands and suppliers are particularly important to women so ensure you are investing time and energy online. Brand loyalty can be harder to earn with women however, once achieved it sticks.
I believe that the growth in women led businesses will continue in Australia. The increasing support of women in the start-up scene in Australia, fuelled by the likes of Scale Investors and Springboard Enterprises, will see women led businesses grow and prosper. These five tips may assist your business capitalise on this growing, powerful market segment.