An old phrase my grandma used to say, “Women in business, owning and operating large growing successful companies that are highly profitable are as rare as hens’ teeth.”

Or are they?  Or is it that we just don’t see them publicised enough?

Our guest blogger this week is Sarah Lockhead-MacMillan, Business Development Manager for Lock Finance.

I was thinking about my client base and in particular about those businesses who use my cash flow solutions and how many of them are women owned.  Currently for me, none.  Now why is that?

Do women not own larger businesses?  Of course they do.  I’ve worked with so many over my professional career, I know they are out there.

So then perhaps women in business do not suffer cash flow growth problems?  Right… I’m sure that’s also not true.

So, why do I not have more female business owner clients?  Well, for me it generally seems that the women in business I deal with have smaller businesses.  Service type businesses, employing up to 10 staff – which is not insignificant in the New Zealand economy, in fact, they typify the majority of NZ businesses.

I work in the financial industry and offer solutions to growth businesses.  This doesn’t mean those same women aren’t growing their businesses.  However, it does appear that they grow them slower and are more risk adverse.

Why is this?  

Now the Money Mentalist will have much better answers than I do, because it does seem to come down to attitudes.

And I will be generalising here, but if you recognize yourself in any way and want to improve your cash flow and money health then a coffee with myself and the Money Mentalist could be a great starting point!

So why is it that the debtor finance solution I use is used less by women?  They issue invoices, they trade business to business, they pay suppliers and wages, so their businesses have the commonalities that my male clients have.

Attitude, upbringing, belief systems and value perception.  I think that’s what it all comes down to.

Now addressing the psychology of money with the Money Mentalist is a great idea, however, many think it’s just for personal finance.  But I think you need to address it in your business as well; after all, money is part of life and so is business.

Value perception is one attribute that I find many women in business struggle with.  Understanding and recognising their own worth, their own valuable IP and charging for it.

Generalisation coming…… I feel the “nurture” attitude we have as women naturally brings out the need to help and therefore we ‘give that away’ before we value our service or product.

I also think this hinders us as women in business when valuing a service, something that doesn’t come in a box.

Just recently I was talking to a very successful business woman who offers training on quite a complex product that many businesses use.  She had devised a simple way to break this product down so that it could be more easily understood.  She had split the training into 4 or 5 customisable sessions and wrote a manual where none existed before.

Her price per session was $595.  My thoughts on the value of the same session and service just from understanding what went into it, let alone trying it – $979.  Same session, same training, same time, just worth so much more.

This alone is a cash flow solution.  However, her argument was that only 2 out of 3 would buy at that price. Hmmm, let’s think.  So, 2, not 3 buy, you gain $173 MORE in income towards profit AND you gain half a day back in time.  After that bit of maths; let’s just say she changed the price…

So, whilst I might offer lending as part of a cash flow solution, I often have discussions around what is going on in the business because there are many more strategies we, as women in business, should be applying:

  • Collect our debt properly, regularly
  • Value ourselves correctly, charge more
  • Change the charging structure – charge up front, ask for deposits
  • Take commitment and booking fees

All BEFORE looking at finance options.

Mostly, as I said before, it comes down to belief systems.  Some as fundamental as, “my business isn’t large enough to be able to attract the right financing system.”  You’d be wrong; there’s a solution for all sizes of business.

So, if you are a woman in business and you want to, earn more, get your cash flow up to speed and understand how to have more in your pocket (and you know where the hens’ teeth are), I’d love to talk to you about your finance structure.

However, try the Money Mentalist, take their quiz.  You’d be surprised how fast you can take charge of your finance, control your money your way and forge ahead in the life you want to have.  Or, if you’d like to have a chat with them, contact them here.

[email protected]