All across the country, women-owned small businesses are thriving and poised for even more growth.
Since 1972, the number of such businesses has increased by 31 times, according to the American Express’s 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. From 2007 to 2018, women-owned firms, shops, and services grew by 58%, compared with a 12% growth rate for American businesses in general.
Today, women command 40% of all US businesses compared with 29% in 2007. Cumulatively, their revenue hovers at around $1.8 trillion. Additional research from business mentoring organization SCORE shows that more women are exploring the idea of starting a business compared with men (47% and 44%, respectively). They’re especially active in industries like professional services, retail, healthcare, and education.
Women Are driving small Businesses
Every woman has her reasons for starting a business, whether out of necessity or a desire to break free from the corporate grind. Women over the age of 65, for example, are most likely to take this tack if they’ve lost a job or need more income in general, SCORE reports, while millennials often do it because they recognize a business opportunity.
Erica Wood, founder of Darien, Connecticut-based children’s retail shop Wiggles & Giggles, decided to open her own business when she was in her early 40s after working for large corporate retailers and family-owned operations for years.
“It has allowed me to make decisions based on my style, and understand customer demands,” Wood says. “I’ve also been able to spend more time with my daughter, and that would never have been possible in a corporate job.”
Denise Blasevick, co-founder and CEO of advertising, PR, and social media agency The S3 Agency, began her career working for another woman-owned agency, and realized that achieving results through creativity was her dream job. She’s now owned her own firm for 18 years, and one of her proudest moments includes being named Agency of Record for BMW Motorrad USA, which involved overseeing the motorcycle brand’s advertising and marketing campaigns.
“It was pretty cool that the creative duties for a brand in a typically male industry were awarded to a woman-owned agency,” Blasevick says.
The Challenges of Owning a SMB
For Wood, one of the biggest challenges she has faced as a small business owner was finding the right location.
Location was a factor for Blasevick as well. She considered the proximity of her business to clients, employees, and her own home, and ultimately opened her office in New Jersey, where it has grown exponentially.
“We’re in an area where rent is quite high, but have been lucky to have a supportive landlord who believes in creating a downtown that’s reflective of the community,” she says.
“That has meant renting more space, then moving to another building for a bigger space, and eventually buying our own building,” she says.
Through each of those growth periods, Blasevick notes that it “made more sense to rent space for storage rather than store non-daily items in our office, where we pay much more per square foot.”
Regardless of whether a business is storing retail inventory or office supplies, a solution like PODS containers can support SMB owners in their ongoing success.
“As a small business owner, you wear many hats,” Wood says. “The most amazing part is that it’s all yours, and something you have built and can be proud of.”
Kudos to all the women small business owners who continue to change the face of business in America.