4 Top Reasons Women Make Better Entrepreneurs

by Jim Smith on March 30, 2011 · 26 comments

As a small business consultant who for years has counseled entrepreneurs and who has had the unique privilege of working with hundreds of women entrepreneurs as a business adviser both at SCORE and the SBDC, I have had the opportunity to compare women versus men as successful entrepreneurs. My conclusion is that women make far better entrepreneurs than men and here are the four main reasons why.

I Can Fly

They listen better
The key to a successful small business is understanding your target market and what ails them. This can only happen if you learn to listen to your current and prospective customers and try to find out what their pain points are. The next logical step would be to create a business solution and build a message describing that solution using the customers key reference words or phrases. Men understand this but unlike women who listen with full attention, men tend to immediately try to solution the problem even before it is fully defined.

They multitask better
Running a small business calls for the ability to do several things concurrently and there is no tomorrow for most of these tasks. Men tend to charge after one problem and after they run over it like a bull in a china shop they then turn to the next. They do make conquests but these are consecutive and not concurrent and consequently they win battles but end up losing the war. Women have the ability to juggle many things and keep more balls in the air.

They pay more attention to detail
Men are so intent on finding the solution to a problem that they tend to gloss over the details in order to get at the solution.  Women pay attention to all of the gory details and tend to have to get it just right or they just keep solutioning it.  Just look at how a woman hangs a picture and then let the guy do the same and inspect the results.

They elicit more trust
In a world where customer service is the key to success, the customer needs to feel that he/she is being taken care of. Women have better interpersonal relationship skills and can make a customer feel more attended to.  People tend to trust women more and feel more taken care of.  Men have a tendency to be more confrontational and end up creating even more friction.

These conclusions will not be accepted gracefully by many of my male clients and contemporaries. My one comment to you is to look inside and really see if you exhibit some of the tendencies I have pointed out. If you do, this is a good opportunity to start working on improving them.

For you budding female entrepreneurs, take a moment and visit Women in Business and Minority Financing to get more help in starting up your venture or just contact us.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

jurciks March 30, 2011 at 7:02 am

Sounds great and I totally agree. It is amazing how much women can archive, from kitchen.

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 30, 2011 at 10:36 am

Thanks for the comment. Your kitchen reference is an interesting one.

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clyde jones March 30, 2011 at 7:26 am

i think you’re being too hard on us guys. We listen well and are into detail and can be very convincing. After all, we do persuade these same women to be our partners!

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 30, 2011 at 10:39 am

Glad you’re able to persuade them, Clyde. I wasn’t trying to be hard on males. It’s just that from my viewpoint the women have better interpersonal skills and these are very useful in being a successful entrepreneur.

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Stephanie St. James March 30, 2011 at 8:23 am

I agree with this article and not just because I’m a womyn but because the points that you are making are 100 % true. Behind every great man is a great womyn and this is seen throughout history so of course it would just be obvious that womyn would make for great business entrepreneurs. It is in fact usually us behind the man pushing them, giving them ideas, and helping them to multi-task, etc. As a business womyn I find that when it comes time to close the deal, my business manager who is a man, always passes the client on to me.

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 30, 2011 at 11:18 am

Glad your business manager is comfortable enough to pass the clients to you for closing. Why don’t we just agree to call them myn also (smile!)

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Novelette Sue March 31, 2011 at 7:15 am

Stephie, you’re just one of quite a few women I’ve come in contact with whom I can say captures my attention in line with the subject matter. I have a lot of admiration for you because you remind of those of us who can hold our own in times of rejection, curiousity, determination, patience or in simply being controlled. You have that ‘winning spirit’ which I like (man or woman) and you simply just know how to choose the right words, at the right time, for the right circumstances…and the courage to be honest. You’ve got it lady…and I like it!

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Deep Think April 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm

Since you believe that Behind every great man is a great woman and this is seen throughout history Since you want to give the credit to women whenever it happens that a man does something great are you also willing to take the blame for every man that fails?Or are you like God who wants all the credit when ever one of his creations does anything good while acepting none of the blame when one of His creations does something bad.

Also since you women are so good at running businesses do you explain how it is that you have done so poorly at the business of rearing male children. You really can’t blame that on men since women claim that they being the first connectors and therefor the chief developers of human characeter have more influence on shaping human characeter than their fathers. How do you explain how it is that men need a woman to be successful and can you explain since women claim men have surpressed them why it is that under your great influence that when they are grown they want to surpress you?

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Tiffani Barbour March 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

Growing up as an only child with a single mother I can certainly agree with this article. Although my mother did not own a “business” , she was indeed the CEO/CFO of our lives. As a budding entrepreneur myself, I do find that I have the background of a strong foundation. By harnessing my mother’s listening skills, patience, drive, commitment and honesty I have the ability to work with anyone.

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 30, 2011 at 11:21 am

Tiffani: I also was blessed with a single mom who was my rock and my salvation. She taught me everything I know including how to deal with people. Thank G-d for moms.

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Cori Jacobs March 30, 2011 at 9:42 am

I do not percieve “Successful” female entrepreneurs being better in a competitive sense. Women have valuable sense of prescience that most testosterone carrying creatures don’t occupy. I look at women like Edie Okamoto, who’s formulated the international media launch strategy for Microsoft’s, MS-DOS, Programming Languages and their first applications software suite – Multiplan. In just two years she’s grown companies.She also helped launch five advertising agencies whose billing grew up to $86,000,000 in less than two years. She speaks four languages and has children. If women were tools in a box there are some things they would be best used for. On my website, listed above, there is a song by two girls called “Time to Represent”. Mind you not all women are good in business but those that are ROCK! I love my Mama.

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 30, 2011 at 11:23 am

Cori:
Thanks for the comment. Would you mind elaborating on the ‘tools in a box’ perspective.

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Hellena Smejda March 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

You forgot an important factor: many of us we don’t expect to get paid as much as men do. We still get (statistically, nationally) 80 cents on the dollar. So we’re used to trying harder.

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Pecka March 31, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Or 80 cents of the dollar man makes :)

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Hellena Smejda March 30, 2011 at 12:44 pm

So why do we do it? Because the returns for effort are direct, as opposed to having a job where someone else decides what your work and raise will be. At least, that’s one reason. Also, I can plan my work around my life (work does not equal life).

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 30, 2011 at 1:18 pm

Thanks for the comments Hellena. The disparity in wages is slated to be the subject of a coming blog post. I totally agree that work should not equal life though I would respectfully submit that some of the single moms, who have to work to support their dependents, may not see it that way.

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Alan Zell March 31, 2011 at 1:49 am

There are some other factors that go into why women make better entrepreneurs than men. Both can be traced back to the differences of how they shop. Women, when they go shopping, look at a lot of things sometimes, maybe, not directly related to what they set out looking for but they make themselves “professional buyers” i.e. they know as much about what they don’t buy as they do about what they do buy.

Men, like you and I, go looking for something and if we find it we buy and if not, we quit looking. That carries over to both the starting of their business as well as fine tuning or growing it.

Another factor is the different ways men and women make decisions. Men make subjective decisions for objective information. Women, on the other hand, make objective decisions from subjective information. Saying this does not mean that women do not need to know or have the objective information . (family, friends, advisers, customers/clients, etc.) and it is the objective information that will go towards justification or confirmation of their decision.

Those women who are comfortable with working with objective information have a natural tendency to combine it with subjective information. Men, those who are into working with objective information seldom have the mind to combine it with subjective information.

It is these differences and the ones you listed that go into the reason whey women make better entrepreneurs than men.

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Jim Smith Jim Smith March 31, 2011 at 8:17 am

You make an excellent point Alan. Women do take a broader view of life in general and thus can see most situations from a wider perspective. Your point on objective and subjective information puts a very interesting spin on this topic.

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Michelle March 31, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Jim,
I think you made some amazing, insightful, and very valid points. Women running a family or a household are usually educators, chefs, chauffers, accountants, plummers, carpenters, maintenance, nurturers, and drill sargeants all rolled into one person. Thank you for admiring and acknowledging all of these glorious women around the globe that do all of these professions out of love and for giving those who feel underappreciated, encouragement to know they can accomplish ANYTHING!!!!! And I love the “I Can Fly” picture. Who is that lovely redhead? Mmmmmm?

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Jim Smith Jim Smith April 2, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Michelle:

I consider my son and my daughter as equally capable at achieving whatever they set out to do. There is no difference and that goes for the rest of us.

Women are as equally and in many cases more capable than their male counterparts. They have the wombs and have had to bear, nurture and emotionally and these days, financially support these testosterone carrying creatures as Cori describes us males. Perhaps next time around, men will have the wombs and we’ll see how they like them apples.

The picture is of a very talented young lady and it was the inspiration for the post. Yes you can fly lovely redhead so go spread your wings.

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Michelle Pereira April 6, 2011 at 11:38 am

Product benefit doesn’t excite us. Belief in humanity and human potential excites us. Thinking less about what a product does, and think more about human potential is key. People are becoming demanding consumers. Consumers are becoming more demanding as spiritual entities.

It’s no longer enough for others to believe in your product, they want to believe in you and what you do. Women are intuitively are aware of this. It’s communicated not only by the product they choose to represent, but in how they handle their business interactions as well.

I believe it’s what makes womyn excellent entrepreneurs. Aside from making money, there’s got to be a goal for the greater good to plug into.

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Deep think February 27, 2012 at 11:34 am

Its amazing to me that we men have accomplished anything in light of all these blogs claiming superior female traits.. it seems that nature has bestowed upon the female every good thing and upon the male mostly garbage. Yet it is the males that have consistantly throughout history out performed females.How is it posible for the inferior males to dominate ,surpress, or subjugate superior females.?

Women say that it is a feminene hand that rocks the cradel and therefor they are the most potent shapers of human characeterics. Could it then be resonable to ask the ladies if they should therefor accept the blame for why it is that these men whose characeters they have shaped have grown up to dominate women. Maybe just maybe women are doing something wrong in their characeter shaping methology.

Neither can women use the excuse that men are stronger because it is generaly agreed that brains trumps brawn. Besides it is now being seen that now that women have gotten into strength trainning that pound for pound the female is proving mightier than the male as recent studies are showing female muscle of the same size is actualy stronger, more flexible, and has more endurance that the male.

So if the proof is in the pudding test is applied to the question which gender is superior based upon achievements todate males win hands down.

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Coach Kevette July 2, 2012 at 8:27 pm

I appreciate the four points you’ve brought out here. This is so true. I was amazed when I began to recognize these differences between my husband and I after we were married. So I see also the application here in personal relationships, not just business.

I too was raised by a single mother. I love and appreciate all that she did, I only wish I had a male role model to learn from in the balance. Jim I must say though that my husband feels much like you do about women in business (mainly because he spent so much time with his mother while growing up, even though he did have his dad around also). Most men will not be willing to accept that a woman typically do better in these areas than they do in business I think that contributes significantly to answer why many women continue to have less forward/upward mobility than men do in executive and entrepreneurial capacities.

I’d like to hear what you have to say about what the four greatest challenges are for women entrepreneurs and what you would advise as to how to overcome them, from your experience of course. Thanks again Jim.

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Deep Think March 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

What I would like to know is just what you women think your going to accomplish by exsalting yourself and bashing males.You don’t see many men braging about how susperior we are to females. You females claim you have empathy in greater abundance than males but show so little empathy for males. Your not going to succeede in getting more women in leadership positions by bashing the very ones who must make the decision as to who gets promoted. If you convince the male decision maker that your gender is susperior to his he won’t promote you.Why? Self presevation that’s why. No leader will knowingly promote someone male or female that is his susperior.
So stop it for the sake of your gender stop trying to prove your susperiority over males because if you convince him of his inferiority you loose the promotion.

Instead of proclaiming your susperiority instead sell your difference. Simply state the truth which is we need more women leaders not because women are susperior but because women are different. And when you add the female difference to the male difference than diversity is created from which comes better decisions resulting in increased productivity. Than men will not feel threathened by you and see you as an asset rather than somebody to be feared. If you continue to bash men and proclaim your susperiority you will continue to lag behind men in leadership.

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Deep Think June 13, 2013 at 1:58 pm

I notice that Jim who responded to a goodly number of commentors did not respond to one of mind. Why? He only wrote what he wrote in his blog with tonge in cheek. He knows full well that my comments were heads and shoulders above the rest of the commentors. If women were in truth superior to men in leadership as all the studies especialy those done by women are proclaiming then they wouldn’t be playing catch up to men. And as regards Jim I say if you really believed what you wrote you wouldn’t have written it. Why? Because human nature being what it is you would be ashamed and want to hide your inferority not proclaim it or shout it to the world. Besides bashing males won’t help males and if you can’t write something constructive than don’t write anything at all.

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Jim Smith Jim Smith June 16, 2013 at 12:47 pm

I do appreciate your perspective and you make some valid arguments. Thanks for your addition to the discussion.

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