What do women entrepreneurs believe are the most important factors in growing their businesses?
According to a survey of over 1,000 women small business owners conducted by the Qurate Retail Group, choosing the right partnerships and people is the single most important factor, especially among companies with more than 10 employees.
“As a business moves out of its start-up phase and into new realms of growth, it becomes even more critical to shift focus to assembling the right team and selecting the right partners and distribution platforms to grow the brand for the long term,” said Leslie Ferraro, president of QxH, Qurate’s largest business unit including QVC and HSN in the U.S.
The survey, titled Qurate Retail Group Women’s Entrepreneurship Study 2020, also revealed that the chief executive officer/founder is the most effective spokesperson for telling the company’s brand story. Forty-three percent of entrepreneurs surveyed ranked it number-one among options that included employees, industry experts and the media. Eighty percent of the women entrepreneurs said they believe it is very important to talk directly with customers and get their feedback when launching a business.
“Interacting directly with customers and owning the brand narrative allows entrepreneurs to showcase the person and, importantly, the vision and story behind the brand,” said Mary Campbell, Qurate’s chief merchandising officer and chief commerce officer, QVC U.S. “Not only can this be a powerful differentiator for many customers, but this transparent and accessible communication helps create a customer experience that builds trust, loyalty, and advocacy among customers.”
Qurate’s survey, was conducted online last January. It reached 1,010 U.S. women business founders, owners, co-owners, ceo’s, and partners, in companies ranging from 1 to 100 total employees. Fieldwork was conducted by M/A/R/C Research as well.
The survey also asked the entrepreneurs at what point in the evolution of their businesses did they consider themselves “leaders.” Entrepreneurs with a handful of employees said it was when they made their first sale, while those with teams of up to 50 employees said it was when they grew the team. Larger companies with up to 100 employees said it was when they secured funding or established a partnership.
Regardless of company size, 67 percent of women entrepreneurs felt it was vital for customers to understand the origins of their brand and what the brand stands for. Sixty-two percent felt corporate responsibility and being a company that acts in the best interests of all stakeholders and the environment is a core element of their brand, and 80 percent believe corporate responsibility is important to their customers.
Qurate said it conducted the survey to demonstrate its commitment to women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship. The survey findings were revealed just days before International Women’s Day which is Sunday. “Publishing these findings is one more way for us to provide value and insights with women entrepreneurs to help them thrive,” said Ferraro.