Breedlove's Briefing: Female Entrepreneurs: If You’re Networking Mostly with Women, You’re Leaving Money on the Table

October 29 - Stephanie Breedlove
Entrepreneurship
 

Hi! I’m Stephanie Breedlove, Co-Founder of Care.com HomePay, Author and Angel Investor.

I absolutely adore taking an idea and giving it life in the form a business, then leading it to its full potential. Nothing is more fun. (Seriously!) I’d love for every woman who wants to start her own business to say the same thing, so here I am, mentoring millennial entrepreneurs. When I’m not working, I like to recharge and head outdoors to hike, bike, or stand up paddle board!

Is that list of business news and trending articles you’ve tagged still unread? I get it. Allow me to help. Take a couple minutes to read my summary of articles serving the most pertinent, actionable business topics. Or, take 10 minutes to read the full article, and put another brick on the foundation of your growing career.

This Week’s Must-Read:

Female Entrepreneurs: If You’re Networking Mostly with Women, You’re Leaving Money on the Table

Who it’s for:

Women entrepreneurs working to build successful business networks. This process never ends.

Why it’s important:

If you have an all-female networking group, you may be holding yourself back!

There are more and more opportunities to connect with other women in business, and this is a phenomenal sign of progress! Indeed, there are 114% more women-owned businesses in the U.S. then there were 20 years ago. With the rise in female entrepreneurship, the number of women-focused resources and networks has also increased. Play your woman card and take advantage of these to get ahead.

Building business networks is critical for making and having what it takes to scale your business. Take the time to be strategic about building networks that grow revenue. Always keep in mind that there’s a lot at stake when attending a cool event; it’s never just about socializing. This also requires doing the hard work to build gender-diverse networks to avoid leaving money on the table.

Here are three reasons why you should avoid the all-female revenue trap:

  1. You aren’t reaching all demographics: Are you relying mostly on female networking groups? The research says most women are: Women are more than five times more likely to have networks that are not gender-diverse. Because men typically hold more senior-level positions, this means women are less likely to get access to people who can open doors for them when their networks are largely female. In order to have a chance at maximizing revenue, you’ve got to step out of your comfort zone and start attending mixed-gender networking groups.

  2. You aren’t maximizing your profit potential:Although women-owned businesses account for 39% of U.S. businesses, our companies contribute only 4% of total revenue. Why is this stat important to your network-building strategies? By attending largely women’s networking groups, we are potentially cutting off half (or more) of our potential customers: men.

  3. You aren’t informed about market opportunities: The effectiveness of your pitch for your product or service with both men and women tells you about the value of what you have to offer. Nail it with both groups, and you won’t go wrong. And having men as advocates of your company is a very big win: Focusing on both genders in marketing and networking results in a much higher return on investment.

Top Take-Away/Final Thought: Don’t abandon your women’s networking groups. However, when strategizing your short-term and long-term business goals, be sure to recognize the economic benefits of having access to men as clients and referral sources.

Want a deeper dive on how to build your business networks? Check these out for a start:

-5 Tips for Stress-Free Networking

-6 Strategies to Improve Your Business Networking Skills

-How to Build a Strong Business Network

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