Optimism Breeds Success, and Women Business Owners Are Indeed Optimistic | NAWBO

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Optimism Breeds Success, and Women Business Owners Are Indeed Optimistic

Optimistic people are found to be more successful because they believe in their efforts and are more willing to put in the work, and take the risks, needed to get there. That might mean a leg up this year for the NAWBO members who participated in a brand-new survey from NAWBO and Web.com. I was proud to jointly unveil our ‘2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses’ survey and discuss the findings and the issues that continue to impact WBOs live on Twitter with Roseann Duran, Web.com’s executive vice president and chief people officer. If you missed our tweetchat, just search for #wbochat or #wgbiz from your Twitter account for a recap of the conversation. Coming the day before President Obama’s State of the Union address, the timing was right to share what was on the minds of some of our members, who are representative of women business owners (WBOs) as a whole. What’s most exciting about this survey is it reveals that even in these tough economic times, women entrepreneurs are optimistic about business opportunities for the year ahead. The results, for example, show a pervasive sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by most WBOs (85 percent) that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in past years. WBOs also plan to invest more (38 percent) or the same (54 percent) in hiring this year than they did in 2012, which should have a positive impact on the economy. Other survey highlights include:

  • WBOs are optimistic about their business’ overall performance (81 percent) for the year ahead.
  • WBOs are optimistic, though slightly less so, about the broader economic outlook (74 percent) in 2013.
  • More than three quarters (78 percent) of WBOs did not seek a new or extended line of credit in the past year.
  • Most WBOs financed their businesses through credit cards (45 percent), business earnings (40 percent) or private sources such as personal savings or contributions from family or friends (37 percent).
  • When asked what they see as their biggest challenge to running their business in 2013, nearly two in five (39 percent) of WBOs said that it was gaining new customers.
  • To gain customers, nearly three quarters (73 percent) of WBOs plan to invest more in marketing in 2013.

Please use these links to view the press release and infographic with the survey results. This survey also allows us to stay at the forefront of challenges and opportunities facing our members as well as women business owners in general. And ultimately, that means we can shape our advocacy efforts as we work to ensure the success of all WBOs. For instance, according to the survey, the top four public policy issues on the minds of NAWBO members right now are: the state of the economy (57 percent), health insurance cost and affordability (40 percent), business tax issues (36 percent) and access to a quality workforce (36 percent). These issues, and others, will no doubt be part of our conversation at next month’s NAWBO Public Policy Fly-In in Washington, DC, where we meet with one another and with key decision makers from Congress and the Administration. I hope you’ll plan to join us! Last week during our national board meeting, NAWBO National Board Chair Laura Yamanka and I were invited by senior advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett, to meet with Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Gene B. Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council and Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, and the Council of Economic Advisers Chair Alan Krueger in a small group setting to receive a briefing and discuss the current status of the fiscal negotiations and the latest in the push for comprehensive immigration reform. In addition, in-coming NAWBO National Board Chair, Billie Dragoo, and I met with Representatives Todd Rokita, Susan Brooks, Jackie Walorski and Andre Carson, all members of the Indiana Congressional delegation, as well as CA Congresswoman and Senior Democratic Whip Jackie Speier to bring them up to speed on the issues of concern to our members. These are just a few of the ways we are ensuring NAWBO stays at the forefront of public policy discussions in Washington, DC. —Diane Tomb, NAWBO National President & CEO