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Thursday Thoughts: No More Bootstrapping to Grow

March 2, 2023

Thursday Thoughts on Money, Investment, Growth for Women Entrepreneurs, Female Business Owners

I remember the tipping point clearly. The point when I decided to look into finance options to grow my company staff to keep up with business demand. I had pushed away the thought of getting a loan or credit line because I was worried about strapping myself financially. If I could just squeeze it all out on my own – the money, time, commitment – then I would make more money faster and succeed.

Little did I know that as soon as I committed to hiring my first part-time staff person, who focused on all the non-revenue producing tasks on my business’ to-do-list daily, I would be free to make more sales calls and entice sponsorship dollars to fund her position and my own. Little by little, the revenue grew, and we worked out the path to growing the company until she left for a better career position after a year.

What happened next is a common tale, I reverted back to the old ways and along with it revenue decreased, and I became comfortable again doing all the work myself, content to just keep the business at a certain growth plain. I was burnt out on sales and seemed content to spend more time with my sons who were leaving for college. It was another choice, most women entrepreneurs tend to make, choosing family over business growth. Again, not a bad choice, just a personal one, and one I never regretted. 

Could I have been a million-dollar revenue business like other women I watched grow their businesses, adding staff, and expansion offices along the way, sure I could because I had the drive, marketplace interest and reputation but in the end, I settled for a more manageable way to live my life and be a woman entrepreneur.

As yesterday marked the beginning of another Women’s History Month, the conversation on most online programs I saw were focused on pay equality and advancing women in business and careers. When it came to discussion on the obstacles facing female business owners growing their companies as fast as men, the factors discussed were:

·         Women were proud they can bootstrap their own company’s growth.

·         Women were not as well educated on the financial options to grow their business.

·         Females didn’t realize how much more they could accelerate their growth with financing

So, if you are reading this post today and are trying to grow your business or are burned out from doing too much because you can’t add staff, equipment or services due to financial constraints or bootstrapping, consider talking to your banker, the SBA or other financial programs to learn and take action.

Women won’t advance like men financially in business, unless we take some of the same steps they take to grow and accelerate.

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