Women Starting Businesses Have An Edge
Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by Lpaho13
The presence of women-owned businesses in the United States is substantial, but they still continue to represent a minority. Though the 7.2 million majority-women-owned businesses – 1.2 million of those women of color – are a significant force in the economy, a number of factors remain to be addressed before those figures grow more quickly. However, revolutionary changes in technology may herald in an age where female entrepreneurs can get an edge on their male counterparts as relationships, a realm in which women seem to have an advantage over men, become increasingly important to a business’ success.
The customer speaks
Just within the past few years, consumers began turning a corner in how they select with whom they do business. According to a recent U.S. study, 71% of those surveyed indicated that each month they rely on internet search tools to find good local companies. Responding to this market shift, social networking sites have added features that both measure and facilitate the search by customers and the social exchange that results from the customer actually interacting with a company. For women about to launch their first enterprise, knowing how to capitalize on the exchange of feedback among customers, potential customers and your own business can provide you with a real edge.
Facebook taps into your customer’s voice
Several popular sites have provided business owners with valuable means of identifying your customer’s response to your products and services. As of the time of this writing, Facebook has introduced a new dashboard, Page Insights, that allows a company’s webmaster to track much more than the FB Likes it receives. With Insights, a company can receive timely data on user Likes and Fan input and also track the spread of activity by those user’s Friends, including which of those began interacting with a company’s or product’s Facebook page. From this data, companies can then opt to pay for targeted ads that show a Facebook user when one of their Friends Likes a product, a tactic shown to positively influence buying decisions for that product.
Demographics on your side
For women running their first startup, the timing couldn’t be much better for getting the jump on the competition. Focusing on a strong online marketing plan, today’s business owner has a whole new customer profile. Those just coming out of college have vastly different shopping habits than many established buyers for existing companies. This potential customer base is already using social media to locate local businesses. If you start your business already reaching out to this market, your more seasoned competition – the majority of those not being owned by women – will be behind the curve you set as the standard for good service.
The rest is up to you
By not missing the trick of using social media your tendency to do well in building good customer relationships is an opportunity. Recognizing that a younger customer base is already selecting their local businesses by using on-line resources, you have but to offer a quality product, fairly priced and supported by great service.
About the Author: Lindsey is a successful writer covering social media and business topics. She is currently finishing work on her graduate degree. She is an advocate of working people, particularly women, pursuing their online MBA program.