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Entries in Small business (3)

Tuesday
Aug082017

Study: When Women Crowdfund, They Do It Better Than Men

Crowdfunding has become a popular means of fundraising in recent years, and it's easy to see why. It's convenient, especially for those who are both generous and tech-savvy; around 17% of crowdfunding donations are made on mobile devices, with others being given via laptop, personal computer, tablet, and other internet-accessible devices. It's also a highly shareable method, allowing friends, relatives, and perfect strangers to learn more about a cause and give money to support it. Some campaigns even go viral. But although women are less likely to embrace this means of fundraising than men, a recent study has found that when women do go the crowdfunding route for their personal and business projects, they're a lot better at it than their male counterparts.

According to data from The Crowdfunding Center and PwC, a consulting firm, crowdfunding campaigns led by women were 32% more successful at reaching their targets than those led by men. Not only were they more likely to reach the targets they had set, but they also received more money per backer, on average: women attracted $87 per funder, while men received $83 per funder.

Interestingly, the study suggests that one reason for female success in this arena may be the fact that women are more likely to donate via seed crowdfunding than by other means of fundraising for projects (like venture capital). Women also seem to be a bit more realistic about their campaign goals; they tend to set lower targets, so they're more likely to reach them.

That said, men are more likely to use this tactic than women in the first place. In the technological sector, there are nine male-led campaigns for every female-led campaign; in digital tech, the ratio is 3:1. Men are also more likely to lead the highest level campaigns. Of campaigns that raised over $1 million, 89% were led by men and only 11% were led by women.

But in all geographic locations surveyed, women still outperformed men by a significant margin. This was found to be true even in the U.S. and the UK, the two countries with the highest campaign volumes. When women embrace crowdfunding for their ventures, it's clear that they dominate.

Co-founder and chief executive of The Crowdfunding Center, Barry E. James, said of the results in a statement:

"Who could have expected that when the middle-men are removed from the equation, and women and men entrepreneurs get equal and direct access to the market, it would turn out that women would, immediately and decisively, outperform the men, across the board? It's time to readjust not just our expectation and perceptions but our attitudes, institutions, behaviors -- and the way we make decisions."

The study, which analyzed 450,000 different crowdfunding campaigns, highlights the need for women to embrace this method even more for their ventures. While they lead the way when they decide to raise funds in this manner, they still don't attempt it as often as men do -- and they set lower goals. For businesses that need seed money, crowdfunding may be an option that's well worth looking into.

Monday
Jul242017

Starting a Business: 5 Reasons Your Small Company Needs a Better Online Presence

Running a small business of any kind is a big commitment. From never-ending to-do lists to keeping up on all of your inventory and production, there's a lot on your plate. And considering the fact that there are an estimated 28 million small businesses in the U.S., you're not the only one facing these issues.

And in the 21st century, there's one extra pressure on small business owners: the need for a professional online presence. If you're reluctant to invest in a new website or social media marketing campaign, then you may be wondering just how important an online presence is?

The 2017 Small Business Social Media Marketing Research Survey reveals that small businesses in the U.S. now consider their self-published posts to social media, digital and real world advertising, and their own websites of the utmost importance when it comes to engaging existing customers and attracting new ones.

Despite those findings, the report found that the majority of these businesses are still spending an average of $100 or less per month on marketing tools. How do they do it? Simple. They have a great website to begin with. Here are a few reasons your small business should have a great website and online presence of its own:

 

  1. First Impressions
    Did you know that 94% of users cite website design as the reason they rejected or mistrusted a business? That's right, your first online impression can go a long way in terms of attracting or repelling your customers. Your online presence should reflect the kind of experience you want customers to have when they actually visit your business.
  2. Window Shopping
    When you're window shopping in a mall, you're going to enter the stores with displays that are neat, stylish, and clearly display items you're looking for. Your website should serve the exact same purpose for visitors.
  3. Customer Accessibility
    A website, unlike a brick and mortar business, is accessible 24/7. And after coming to your site, 50% of visitors will get their bearings with the navigation bar. If your website isn't up to par, customers won't have that accessibility and you may even lose them because of it.
  4. Increased Sales
    As previously mentioned, your website is accessible to customers all day, every day. Not only does that mean you can answer questions outside of normal business hours, but it also means you can sell product outside of those hours, too. The better your site, the more work it can do for you!
  5. Online Visibility
    Above all else, your website offers you online visibility. Why do you think all of those small businesses in survey used social media in addition to their own sites? The answer is always visibility. And the more visibility you get through your website and other online platforms, the better.

Running a small business isn't necessarily easy, but that doesn't mean it has to be a struggle every single day. In fact, the more effort you put into your online presence from the beginning, the fewer struggles you'll have with marketing efforts in the future. What are you waiting for? Get started on your web design today.

Friday
May012015

The American Small Business Championship

I was recently contacted by The Motherhood to participate in an online virtual session about the American Small Business Championship. This was an amazing opportunity and I’m thrilled to share some details with you about how you can get involved too!

The American Small Business Championship is hosted by Sam’s Club and SCORE. It’s a way to award small business owners for their sacrifices and dedication to their business. It launched in January and winners were announced on Feb. 24. There were more than 100 winners from 47 states!! The Championship aims to address the unique challenges and obstacles faced by small business owners.

Many of these business owners are moms just like us! Two champions, Veronica Jacobsen and Tabitha Birdsong, were on the session to tell their story and emphasize how the #ASBC has impacted them and their businesses. Jacobsen is the owner of Baby Love and Birdsong is the co-owner of Miss Birdsong’s Sweet Tooth.

The champions each received a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card, an expense-paid attendance at a regional Championship Celebration and Symposium, SCORE mentoring for one year and significant national publicity.

Sam’s Club works to connect small business owners with the training, resources and capital they need to grow and succeed. They invest in programs that connect existing small business owners – especially women, minorities and veterans.

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses succeed and since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 10 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring, workshops and education to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. Their mentoring program is completely FREE!

Want to learn more? Visit SCORE to learn more about the American Small Business Championship and upcoming symposiums. Visit Sam’s Club to learn more about their impact on small businesses. You can also visit SCORE for tips, tools and resources for small businesses!