How Men and Women Take Different Approaches to Business Ownership

Despite recent stock market volatility,  small business owners (SBOs) remain cautiously optimistic, according to the latest Capital One Small Business Growth Index. Most (59 percent) SBOs say that business conditions are good or excellent, though about half fear a recession or correction is coming.

Male business owners remain slightly more optimistic than women, with 60 percent of men and 57 percent of women reporting that business conditions are good or excellent. And when you break it down further, you find some interesting differences between men and women in their roles as business owners.

Women business owners taking a different approach to hiring and leading

Hiring is a tough nut to crack, especially when competing against larger businesses that can offer more competitive salaries and benefits. Twenty-eight percent of women business owners say they have plans to hire in the next six months, and many are using an interesting tactic to attract talent. Fifty-five percent of female SBOs are marketing their business as a great place to work, compared to only 37 percent of men. And more women (57 percent) than men (50 percent) feel that a diverse workforce drives innovation, meaning they may be open to a broader base of candidates in the hiring pool.

Cash flow issues and government policies top of mind for women business owners

When asked what would cause them to be less optimistic, 60 percent of female business owners cited cash flow issues, while only 53 percent of men cited the same concerns. Meanwhile, 45 percent of male business owners say that government policies are a driving factor behind their optimism, while only 36 percent of women said the same thing. 

Current events are uniquely impacting women business owners

Taxes are always top of mind for business owners, and recent tax reform means that they are still wrapping their heads around how it will impact them. While 57 percent of male business owners say that the new tax plan has been positive for small business, only 42 percent of female business owners feel the same way. And while 64 percent of men say that the change in presidential leadership has been positive for small business, less than half (49 percent) of women business owners agree.

Women and men will always face unique challenges in their role as business owners - after all, business owners are people too. It's encouraging that 96% of women business owners say that they make an effort to support other business owners in their community who they identify with - meaning the support network is universally strong.


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