6 No-Cost Ways to Support Other Women Business Owners
February 24th 2022
The number of woman-owned businesses continues to rise, reports the US Census Bureau, and those with employees account for nearly 20% of all US businesses. When you add in women solopreneurs, that percentage rises to 42% of all businesses in the country. And women of color own half of all woman-owned companies.
The rise of woman-owned businesses is good news for everyone, really. Entrepreneurial ventures allow women to earn a living engaged in an activity they are passionate about, or particularly skilled in.
The key to future growth for women business owners is increasing support for their companies and their work. Instead of making a purchase on Amazon or Walmart, for example, how about seeking out a smaller, woman-owned firm selling similar goods and services. You can buy through their business website or on a platform like Etsy or Fiverr, just to name a couple.
But support doesn’t have to mean spending money.
Sometimes, support that doesn’t cost a dime can ultimately lead to bigger and better opportunities for women business owners.
How about trying some of the following tactics to show your support for female entrepreneurs:
1. Celebrate their successes
When you see a fellow woman business owner achieving their goals, whatever they are, show your support by giving them a pat on the back, publicly. Give them a shout-out on Facebook, share a celebratory note on IG and tag them, and mention their recent win on LinkedIn.
Spread the word. In many cases, those mentions and virtual high-fives can lead to connections that are worth far more than a single purchase you could make.
2. Make referrals
After you have a good experience doing business with a woman business owner, tell all your friends. Spread the word that your bookkeeper makes your life so much easier, that your lawyer is helping you protect your assets, or that the café on the corner has the BEST doughnuts. And drop names, and maybe even addresses.
Or when a colleague or friend asks who you use for trash pickup, or snowplowing, or tax accounting, try to recommend a woman business owner you know and respect. Those types of referrals are worth their weight in gold.
3. Leave positive reviews
Along the same lines, when you have a positive experience, go online and tell everyone about your recent purchase experience. Rave loudly!
Yelp is best-known for restaurants, but you can review local businesses there, too. You can also leave Google reviews and LinkedIn recommendations just as easily. If the company sells a product, you may be able to leave a customer review on their website, or on the platform where the product is sold.
4. Share their posts
When you see a woman business owner sharing news or an article or photo on social media, share the post with your network, if it’s relevant. This helps raise the visibility of the entrepreneur and their business.
Or, if the post isn’t really appropriate for your crowd (maybe it’s about a business 500 miles away, or topic you’re not sure your followers would be interested in), comment on the post. Comments help post performance and can help ensure others will see it. So, add a couple of words of encouragement, or type up your positive thoughts on the topic.
5. Make introductions
One way to help expand women business owners’ network is to bring them into your own circle of friends and colleagues. Introduce them to other women business owners they should know.
You can do that simply through email, through a Zoom chat, or by inviting them both to a business networking event. “I want you to meet…” is a great conversation starter.
6. Mentor aspiring and current women business owners
When you’re just starting out in business, it can feel overwhelming. You don’t know what you don’t know, and that’s scary. Imagine how comforting it would be to meet another woman business owner willing to help you avoid common problems and expensive missteps.
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
If you’ve had a few years of experience running your own business, how about looking for opportunities to help other women business owners who aren’t yet where you are. You’re likely to find them within trade and professional organizations you belong to, or local associations and civic organizations. The Chamber of Commerce may be a good starting point, or a networking group like BNI.
No matter what you do, if you keep your support positive and encouraging, you can help women business owners thrive and succeed.