Look at magazines about business that are directed toward men. You’ll see biographies of millionaires, tips for productivity, and information about new technology. Check out the magazines about business that are directed toward women. Lead articles focus on how to decorate an office or studio, how to overcome negative feelings, and fun ways to network with other female business owners.
Naturally, the more successful business women are reading the business magazines that are mostly talking to men.
Movies show much the same picture. Female business owners start baking cupcakes for a lark and are amazed when a local celebrity happens to catapult them to stardom. Male business owners stay up late for their conference calls to Tokyo.
Things may be changing, but many women still approach starting a business with a hobbyist’s attitude. They choose something they love to do — making cupcakes or quilting or organizing closets, they get a few friends to be their first customers, and they spend a lot of time playing office. They figure that if they do what they love, the money will follow. They revel in the Facebook communities of women with micro-businesses and support one another emotionally in spite of the fact that they can’t actually support themselves with what they earn.
Sure, this is a stereotype. There are plenty of women with business plans and successful businesses. The National Association of Women Business Owners reports that in 2014 there were over 9.1 million firms owned by women, employing 7.9 million people.
But are these really numbers to celebrate? Note that this is an average of fewer than one employee per firm. Women-owned businesses are proliferating, but they employ only 6% of the nation’s workforce and produce just 4% of the revenue, according to American Express. EY says that only 2% of women-owned businesses earn more than $1 million in revenue each year — businesses owned by men are 3.5 times as likely to reach that level. Looking at all businesses, male-owned companies’ earnings average 4 times those of female-owned businesses.
Some women may prefer to keep their businesses small for the sake of work/life balance. But there are probably plenty of women who would like to see their businesses grow. Without the training and support they need to create more profitable businesses, though, too many of them are stuck decorating offices and hoping that customers will show up.
Here’s where a franchise business can really make a difference.
Franchise businesses use proven systems which have actually made money for franchisees. They don’t require a clever plot twist to make a profit, because they’re well-planned businesses, not hopeful hobbies.
Franchisors offer the training and support that many women didn’t get in school or in their early careers. Franchise businesses usually reward hard work with financial success, which hobby businesses often do not.
Women are not at the same disadvantage in starting a franchise as they often are when starting an independent business… or going to work for an existing business, for that matter. A franchise can help women avoid being part of that woman in business stereotype.