written by: Jed Del Rosario Women-owned business make up about 50% of all privately own corporations in the United States. However, approximately three-fourths of these business rarely have annual gross revenues that exceed $50,000. This is a problem that several major organizations are now trying to address, including “Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence.” Count Me In is a non-profit organization which focuses on providing resources, advice and support for women-owned businesses which are in need of additional funding and investment. Nell Merlino, who is the founder and CEO of this organization, is particularly eager to address many of the issues faced by female entrepreneurs today. To explain why very few women-owned private businesses rarely achieve impressive growth, Merlino cites several important facts from U.S. Census statistics. One major cause, for example, is the fact that 17% of all women-owned businesses don’t have sufficient employees and trained personnel. This is a serious problem, because a business without sufficiently trained personnel are more difficult to manage, especially since the owner or founder will have to do more work herself. This is one of the major reasons why Merlino is trying to expand her organization’s operations, and to help struggling female entrepreneurs all over the country. Not only is Count Me In committed to helping female business owners, they also want to help women achieve higher rates of employment and improved standards of living by helping them to better understand how start-up businesses succeed. Why Do Women Business Owners It So Hard to Grow Their Business? One of the biggest problems that women business owners have is that many of them don’t treat their businesses as CEO’s. Instead, they see themselves as the lead multi-tasker, whose job it is to do everything that their business requires. This is one of the biggest mistakes in running a business, because it requires too much time and energy from the only one person. Furthermore, putting too many responsibilities on the shoulder of leaders means that the business will have a hard time growing, since one person that already has too much work will not be able to absorb more. The only time multi-tasking works is with small businesses that have very few clients and a limited amount of work. However, this is method of running a business is not conducive for growth, which helps to explain why so many women-owned businesses are stagnating. This limits their “vision” and “opportunities,” according to Merlino, and most women often get “overwhelmed” with the amount of work that they take one. The result is that they deprive themselves of the means to capitalize on new opportunities, meet new clients as well as implement plans that could lead to additional growth. To make matters worse, this flawed way of business management also limits the vision and opportunities of many women entrepreneurs. There is also a sense of being overwhelmed, and women who try to maintain this sort of outlook only end up burning themselves out with the extra work. In contrast, women who work and run their businesses as CEO’s tend to have less work. All they need to do is step back, develop the plans and engage the people who do most of the work. This is why women who know how to delegate tasks to their subordinates are more likely to reach the $1 million revenue threshold more quickly than women who insist on doing everything. If, however, you feel that your business still requires your active attention then don’t worry because there’s a way to cope with the problem. According to Merlino, women who feel that they should do everything can still limit themselves to what they’re “capable of doing.” This way, they will be able to have fewer problems on their hands. Aside from running their business, women entrepreneurs also need help rethinking their business strategies. This process creative strategies to financing as well as experimenting with feasible projects is often encouraged by Count Me In to help women grow their business. This is done by counseling women entrepreneurs on how to find creative financing, especially in a post-recession economy. How Did Count Me In Help Female Entrepreneurs? Count Me In is responsible for several important events and initiatives, include several competitions, wherein various women pitch their business ideas to a distinguished panel of judges as well as the audience. The goal of this competition, and those like it, is to inspire women to expand their business until they reach the one million dollar mark and, at the same time, help them generate some much needed capital. However, their work didn’t end with the competition, earlier this year, Count Me In launched Urban Rebound, a special initiative that aims to help female-owned businesses reach the $50,000 – $150,000 revenue threshold. The main target of this initiative were poor economic areas, and the goal was to help the women-owned buses there reach the $250,000 mark within 12 to 18 months. Urban Rebound was made possible by a grant from the Wal-Mart Stores Sams Club as a part of its Sams Club Giving Program. In recent weeks, Count Me In even went to LA in order to launch their Urban Rebound LA Conference and Competition, where several female business owners from Southern California pitched their ideas to a group of business experts for the chance to have a spot on Count Me In’s nine month program. This week, the organization has even announced their intention of launching a mobile app called “Pitch Perfect,” which is designed to assist businesswomen perfect their pitches. These programs, and other like them, are meant to help women understand how to express their long term goals for their business, so that they will be able to reach higher levels of revenue and profit without taking on more and more work. So if you’re a woman who wants to start her own start-up business, the experts have several tips for you to try: 1. Firstly, think of yourself as the CEO of your company 2. Make sure that your target customers actually want to buy what you are selling 3. And finally, don’t go into business for the passion or the problem solving only. You should also aim for the money. If you can get into this sort of mindset then your business will have a much better future. Sign Up For Our FREE Online MagazineSignup now and receive an email once every time we publish new content. We will never give away, trade or sell your email address. You can unsubscribe at any time.