Recent statistics show that only 3% of the 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. have revenues over $1 million, compared to 6% of businesses owned by men. So what does it take for women-owned businesses to exceed the $1 million threshold?
This was one of the topics of discussion at a Women Leadership Event hosted by Frazier & Deeter. Among others, the panel included two women business owners who have grown their businesses far past the $1 million mark.
When it comes to growing your business, Roz Alford, Co-founder and Principal of ASAP Solutions Group, has some great advice. Roz and her co-founder, Nancy Williams, grew their business into an $80 million company, one of the largest women-owned businesses in Georgia. She encourages all women business owners to think big; to stop thinking of the now and look ahead.
She believes the most important step, if women want to grow their business to more than $1 million, is to obtain funding and know what do when you have access to funding. As a member of Women Impacting Public Policy and the National Women’s Business Council, Roz encourages women to take advantage of organizations available such as the Small Business Administration and LaunchPad2x, a program designed to help women entrepreneurs launch their business and secure investors.
Alford also made a point about the importance of a strong team. She advocates working with a team of experienced advisors that includes a banker, accountant and attorney to help you as you move the business to the next level. Regarding the leadership team and business practices, Alford noted that “what gets you to $1 million is different from what gets you to $5 million or $10 million.”
Mary Parker, Founder & CEO of All(n)1 Security Services , was named one of the 2014 Women Who Mean Business by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, and her multi-million dollar business was named one of the fastest growing woman-led businesses in Atlanta in 2013.
Mary encourages women to align themselves with strategic allies. As the founder and CEO of a full-service multi-million dollar enterprise with more than 200 employees, Mary stressed the importance of having a strategic plan, defining the company’s values and always striving to meet objectives. Similar to Roz, she believes finding the right team of professionals is crucial in helping you transition to the next step.
Roz and Mary share their advice and act as mentors to those in the community, because they recognize how an effective mentorship can positively impact growing companies.
The group of women business leaders who attended the panel event got to hear pragmatic leadership advice from women who have far exceeded their peers of either gender in the business world. The women who are starting new businesses as part of today’s surge of entrepreneurship would do well to embrace this advice as the coaching that will help them build their own businesses to the million dollar hurdle and beyond.
Check the events page for details about future Frazier & Deeter Women Business Leader events.