Questions a Business Woman May Want to Consider

Article for submission from Kurt and Vermilya Law

"Because I am a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed. If I fail, no one will say, "She doesn't have what it takes"; They will say, "Women don't have what it takes;""

-Clare Boothe Luce

"I've got a woman's ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it." -Margaret Thatcher

For decades, our society looked at a woman's place as being in the home and the man's place as being at the office, factory, or farm. According to the Economics and Statistics Administration (http://www.esa.doc.gov), women-owned businesses accounted for nearly 30% of all non-farm, privately held businesses in 2007. Further, the rate of women-owned businesses grew by 44% between the years 1997 and 2007, a rate twice as fast as male-owned companies.

However, as the above quotations suggest, the times might be a changing, but they have not yet changed. It seems, that women still carry the heavier load of caring for the family and the home as compared with their male partners. This creates tensions for the businesswoman that the businessman may not understand. This article addresses some questions a businesswoman may consider as she seeks to develop her potential in workplace while continuing to care and nurture her family.

1. Spend and plan smartly. Any person (man or woman) seeking to start or expand a business is usually faced with the same dilemma. How do I best spend my limited resources to harvest the business potential I see before me? The answer is to avoid any problem before they occur, rather than fix them later. This is as true in business as it is in life. Spend the time to consult with accountants, attorneys, and insurance providers to make sure your business assets are separated and properly insulated from your personal wealth. This requires identifying the proper business structure, understanding the ever expanding multitude of laws and regulations that may bear on your business, and obtaining adequate insurance protection in the event a disaster occurs. It seems daunting, but getting it right from the beginning is far better that fixing as problem later on.

2. Remember you are not alone. There are many resources available for a woman seeking to start up or expand her business. The State and Federal Government offers a wide variety of resources and incentives for you. (For example, note the Ohio women's business resource webpage at http://www.development.ohio.gov/Entrepreneurship/WomensBusinessResource.htm. In addition, always keep in mind resources that your local chamber of commerce and business groups may offer.

3. Keep a balance. It is easy to be distracted by the seemingly ever-present demands of starting or expanding a business. Often, we tend to neglect our personal health, family time, and time for our significant others. Make time for yourself and your family. A balanced life will only add to success of your business.

Finally, don't be discouraged and move forward. Remember, once again the words of Margaret Thatcher. "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."