Top-Earning Women-Owned Businesses Are Financially Sophisticated

Marketing to Women: Addressing Women and Women's Sensibilities, March 2004 | Go to article overview
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Top-Earning Women-Owned Businesses Are Financially Sophisticated


In many ways, women-owned firms with revenues over $1 million are more similar to male-owned firms with comparable revenues than they are to other women-owned businesses, according to the Center for Women's Business Research.

Both female-owned and male-owned businesses with revenues of $1 million or more utilize sophisticated financial tools and regularly produce financial documentation including balance sheets, income statements, business plans, sales forecasts, and break-even analyses. Female-and male-owned firms with such revenues reduce their need for outside capital through strategies such as leasing equipment or buying it used, using contract employees, negotiating better payment terms for accounts payable, dropping late-paying customers, and developing systems to speed up customer payments.

Fewer women-owned businesses with revenues of under $1 million use these tools and strategies. High-revenue ($1 million-plus) women-owned firms use a greater number of funding sources and financial products than other women-owned businesses, including commercial business loans or lines of credit (56% versus 31%), business credit cards (75% versus 53%), and vendor credit (59% versus 34%).

High-revenue female-owned businesses (25%) are more likely than high-revenue male-owned firms (15%) to do business on a national level, and less likely to do business on a local level (30% of female-owned versus 43% of male-owned). Female-and male-owned firms are equally likely to do business on the regional and international levels. High-revenue women-owned firms are more likely than other women-owned businesses to describe their primary customer base as small or mid-size businesses, large corporations, and government agencies (local, state, and federal). They're less likely than either male-owned firms with comparable revenues or women-owned firms with lower revenues to market their services primarily to consumers.

Female-owned high-revenue firms (18%) are twice as likely as their male-owned counterparts (9%) to seek advice from mentors; other sources of advice and support are similar between female- and male-owned firms with revenues at this level.

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