Business Law (19)
Customer Service (12)
Family Business (4)
Human Resources (27)
A small business blog featuring tips to help entrepreneurs succeed in the small business world. Topics include family business, human resources, marketing, money, networking, operations, ownership, startup, taxes and technology.
What Makes Women Entrepreneurs Different from Men?
Over the past few years, there has been a surge in business startups by female entrepreneurs. Today I’m going to discuss how the way women run things may be a bit different from how men play the game.
Stronger Focus on Values
It’s not that men don’t put values in the front lines of their company, but most women entrepreneurs make it the number one priority over everything else. According to Margaret Heffernan, who recently wrote How She Does It: How Women Entrepreneurs Are Changing the Rules of Business, women think about what their business will stand for before they start planning anything else.
Will Ask for Help
Many men (not all) have difficulty asking for help when it comes to something like their very own business. Pride can sometimes get in the way. But most women don’t have a problem admitting that they’re not sure how to accomplish a certain task or what needs to be done next in the building-a-business game. This can sometimes provide an advantage in a well-spring of knowledge from sources that help ground their business more quickly.
Focused on the Working Environment
According to Heffernan, male entrepreneurs see their businesses as a machine, while female entrepreneurs see it as a living organism. I can see where she’s coming from. Men may be more likely to take the position that “bad parts” (employees) can easily be replaced with new and better functioning ones. Many male entrepreneurs may overlook the fact that the “parts” are going bad because the machine as a whole is not in great condition. Some may take the position that a new employee here or there will help to make the business function better, rather than examining the whole business under a microscope to see if there may be underlying problems.
Women entrepreneurs tend to be on the other end of the spectrum with the perspective that, if the environment their employees are in isn’t working, then the entire “ecosystem” of the business, if you will, could collapse. Basically, women entrepreneurs focus more on making sure the work environment is comfortable to obtain the best performance from their employees, rather than expecting the best from their employees despite the work environment.
Strength of the Business
Women entrepreneurs tend to focus on building a business so strong that it could function completely and successfully without them. Men build strong businesses, but often want to make sure they are always part of the central element that keeps things going. According to Heffernan, women entrepreneurs are more like the “conductor of the symphony – the person who doesn’t make the noise, but pulls it all together.”
• BusinessWeek.com: Men Dominate, Women Orchestrate
Related Small Business Buzz Posts:
Business Structures Help Fight War on Terror
Global Markets and Business Etiquette
Leading by Example in a World of Copy Cats
Preventing Sexual Discrimination in the Workplace