Hint: There’s no right answer!
When I set out to re-launch sheBOOM (which was originally commissioned by a tech company), I decided to expand it to reach a very broad audience — all women founders, regardless of the type of business they run. Regardless of age. Regardless of business size or stage.
Marketing best practices dictate that the target market for a new product or service should be laser-focused. Speaking to women across a wide range of industries — from auto repair to legal services from bakers to bankers — could be tough.
But, as a woman who has owned my own business for more than ten years and talked to hundreds (if not thousands) of women business owners over that time, I have come to realize that we all struggle with some common challenges. Risking a steady paycheck to launch and run a business is a challenge for anyone. When times are tough, we question our goals and our skills. We sometimes don’t command enough for our products or services. We have trouble asking for money and help.
Many of the founders I’ve spoken to have birthed their businesses while birthing babies, taking care of aging parents, running households, and even holding full-time jobs while they got their businesses up and running. As we’ve heard many times on Shark Tank, launching and scaling a business is NOT a hobby; it requires 100% focus and dedication. That’s why I tend to think about women-owned businesses in these three categories:
- The Small & Mighty: Perhaps you run a bookkeeping service. Or sell your homemade gluten-free muffins at the Farmers Market and local stores. Maybe you’re a PR or marketing freelancer. You are turning a profit and still have time left over to enjoy the things in life that matter to you. You may never really want to hit $1 million in revenue or franchise globally one day. And that’s OK. We’ll help you be as effective as you can possibly be in your work and life!
- The Scalers: Whether you’re motivated by money or competition or if you just have a big vision…you are determined to BE BIG! You are ready to take your business to that next level…to secure funding…to expand…to take in partners…whatever it takes to play with the big boys and girls. It takes dedication, savvy, and the right connections. You go girls! But that commitment is not for everyone. I’ve heard many successful women talk about how they grew their businesses and then realized they hated the responsibilities, time commitments, and pressures that went along with that. The really smart ones figure out a way to cash out and move on.
- The sheMILLIONAIRES: These are the women who comprise that 3% (approximately) of women-owned businesses that have hit (or exceeded) a million dollars in annual revenues. They serve as mentors, coaches, cheerleaders and sherpas for others. You’ll read some of their stories throughout this site.
Most important, whichever group you happen to fall into right now, keep in mind that you’re not “stuck” there forever. Your goals, your advisors, the market, your family situation, and sometimes just luck (good or bad) will push you from one zone into another. But we have certain things in common — we are fierce, we are committed to success, we are collaborative, and we would love to see a world where women can earn what they are worth, step confidently into industries previously considered boys’ clubs, and set great examples for our daughters, granddaughters, cousins, nieces, and the generations that come after us.
BOOMing is not just a financial measure…it’s a frame of mind. If you’re running a business, you need to know your numbers, have a plan (and be willing to evolve it), build the right team around you, and accept all the help you can get.
That help is here. Let’s get to sheBOOMing together!
Nancy, sheBOOM publisher
P.S. We want to hear your stories! Please e-mail me with your feedback and ideas. We’ll soon be introducing lots of new ways to help you connect and prosper, so be sure to subscribe to our weekly missives!