Women-owned and Minority-owned Businesses on the Rise in the U.S.

SCORE has gathered statistics on the growth and economic impact of women-owned and minority-owned businesses in the United States. In total, there are currently 9.1 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. that employ 7.9 million people and generate $1.4 trillion in annual revenues. Since 1997, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. has increased by 67.8 percent while the number of men-owned firms increased by 34.4 percent.

Women-owned Businesses Growing at 1.5x the National Average

In addition to the number of women-owned firms steadily increasing, the employment rate of these firms increased by 11.0 percent while revenues grew 72.3 percent between 1997 and 2014. During the same time period the employment rate in men-owned firms increased by 6.5 percent and revenues grew by 45.1 percent.

The highest industry concentration of women-owned enterprises is found in health care and social assistance, educational and other professional services.

More Businesses Owned by Women of Color

Between 1997 and 2014, the number of businesses owned by women of color in the U.S. increased from 1 million to 3 million. Both ownership growth and revenue growth outpaced their non-minority counterparts; Women entrepreneurs of color increased business ownership by 215.7 percent and increased revenues by 193 percent while all women-owned businesses averaged 67.8 percent ownership growth and 72 percent revenue growth.

Latino-owned Businesses Growing at 2x the National Average

Latino-owned businesses have increased in number from 1.57 million enterprises in 2002 to 3.22 million in 2014 – a rate that represents 2 times the national average. This represents a 43 percent increase in business ownership by Latinos since 2007.

Why B2B Networking is Crucial for Small Businesses

indian businesswoman having coffee during conference break

By Anica Oaks

Small business owners place prime importance on B2B networking because the companies usually have very small budgets for advertising. The businesses must rely upon public opinion and upon social contacts for generating more sales. If a company is a franchise, then the business can benefit from corporate advertising campaigns, but the local offices will not be specifically mentioned in the campaigns. Customers will only patronize businesses if they have information about the businesses.

Networking

Business contacts can be used for referrals such as the salesperson from a car dealership who will recommend a local transmission shop. Most small businesses specialize in services or products. A mechanic may customize vehicles. A landscape professional could install special concrete structures. There are relationships between the companies because each company controls a small segment of a local market.

Reputation

Customers choose to patronize businesses because of the professional reputation of the business and because of the quality of the services. A professional reputation is enhanced with a business network that includes architects, plumbers and electricians who work together to complete projects. The business relationship can be used to generate more sales and to attract more customers.

Social Responsibility

Some company managers recognize social responsibilities and will sponsor local sports teams. They can enlarge their business network by including the owner of the food concession stand at the ballpark. They can form a relationship with the owner of the sporting goods store who provides the uniforms for the team players. The manager will expect the B2B networking to increase the sales volume of his or her small business.

Franchises

Business owners who manage a franchise must bond with the members of a local community. They could operate a pizza franchise or an event venue such as Noah’s Event Venues, which provides meeting rooms for events. The owners must network with party planners, caterers and entertainers who will perform at special events. Unless the service is excellent, clients will not schedule another event. The businesses must work together to achieve success.

Sales

Businesses use sales to generate profits. Managers must have enough sales to cover operating costs if they want to continue with their businesses. The relationships that are formed from B2B networking can translate into an increase in sales volume. The importance of these relationships is discussed in an article on Chron.com, which emphasizes the significance of communication. Small business owners use B2B networking to survive in the marketplace because the competition is tough.

A professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

4 Small Touches to Make Your Small Business More Professional

Proud Restaurant Owner

By Anica Oaks

Small businesses often struggle to compete with big box stores that have unlimited resources and a nation-wide presence. However, according to the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), small businesses represent over 90 percent of American employers. They are the backbone of the U.S. economy. Small business can improve their image and professionalism through following the effective tips below.

Customer Contact

Consider getting a dedicated business phone number and official P.O. Box. As an alternative to a normal cell phone, consider using an online telecommunication service such as Grasshopper or Google Voice. This is an excellent way to inexpensively manage your communication needs and will help you to separate your personal and business communication. In addition to this, having a P.O. Box will provide privacy while advertising the fact that you are a local company.

Employee Uniforms

You don’t have to require your employees to overdress or be totally identical. Instead, a professionally embroidered polo shirt creates a sense of class while maintaining a sense of casualness. This will promote your brand, provide free advertising and foster team spirit. In addition to this, employees will be happy to receive free clothing.

Name Tags

Naag Tag name tags create a personalized touch while establishing a formal tone. Allowing employees to choose their own name tag design can entertain them. As an alternative, choose a theme for both company name tags and any business signs. For example, a vintage style that reflects the nature of your business and traditional values is an appropriate way to professionally express individuality. On the other hand, a humorous restroom sign creates a casual, pleasant atmosphere.

Upgrade Your Website

A growing number of consumers now spend most of their time online surfing the internet, accessing social media and shopping online. A professionally designed website is critical for the success of any small business. This is because the consumers prefer to quickly and conveniently research a company with a simple Google search. Therefore, a website most likely provides the first impression. Unless you are a web designer, employ a professional to create a user friendly, attractive website. Use a professional photographer to take quality pictures of your products. Be sure to set up a business email account. For example, Google offers very cheap business email accounts.

In conclusion, small businesses can become more professional through a dedicated phone line and P.O. Box, upgrading the website and customized company clothes and name tags.

A professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.