Saturday, August 14, 2010

Not the Weaker Sex

In case you missed it, Michelle Miller posted this on her WonderBranding Blog recently:

6.2 Million Customers Who Are Waiting To Do Business With You

Posted: 04 Aug 2010 08:00 AM PDT

Last month, the National Women’s Business Council released a fresh batch of statistics on women-owned businesses, taken directly from the newest U.S. Census Bureau report.

Between 2002 and 2007, the number of majority-owned (51%+), women-owned businesses rose by 20%, to 7.8 million.

If you’re interested, the ethnic breakdown looks like this:

  • Caucasian: 50%
  • African-American: 34%
  • Latina: 9%
  • Asian: 7%

While this report doesn’t account for the economic downturn of the past couple of years, the fact that women haven’t been as affected as heavily as men by job loss (combined with cultural shifts in which more women are choosing to work from home), is probably holding this number fairly steady.

Here’s what I find to be the most interesting part of the report: An economic impact study (in collaboration with WalMart), estimates that women-owned businesses contribute more than $3 trillion to the economy, even though only 20% of those businesses have employees.

That leaves 80% of women who have started their own businesses and work on their own.

That means you have a tremendous opportunity to position your product or service not only for consumers, but female business owners as well.

Take the garden center, which could easily create a corner display within the nursery to feature low maintenance plants that are perfect for the office.

Or the cleaning service that could offer a “Home Office Only” package. A woman always thinks of cleaning the rest of the house for the family, but neglects her own office. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door to persuade her to hire you for the whole house.

How about a meal prep service that delivers a “Work From Home” series of healthy lunches once a week? She can just pull one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave, and then work while she eats.

I’ll bet you can come up with a half-dozen ideas on how your company can serve those women working on their own.

Let’s see… 80% of 7.8 million is 6.2 million women-owned businesses.

Is that enough customers for you?

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