How to win with women small business owners

first_imgCredit unions have an immediate advantage with women small business owners.   All the same reasons why women use credit unions for their personal accounts apply to their business accounts as well – low fees and rates, more personalized service, a community focus, and in some cases, local loan approval.Here’s more good news. A Mastercard study found that 80% of women prefer to have most or all of their accounts at one bank. So if she has her personal accounts with you, there is a high likelihood she would like to have her business accounts with you as well.What are the differences between men and women business owners?There are far more similarities than differences in male and female business owners. But there are some differences, in general, in how they grow their businesses.One of the top differences is how men and women think about financing.    Men tend to look at financing as a necessary investment.  Women can look at financing as an unnecessary expense, especially early on. Men are focused on growing their business as quickly as possible.  Women often focus on growing their business more organically, focusing on getting it right over growing it too fast. This may be a result of traditional differences in how men and women approach financial risk.More differences surfaced when Bank of the West conducted an online survey in 2014.  The survey found that women did more due diligence, asked for more professional advice and were more prepared than male business owners. Yet male business owners were better funded.Business credit opportunitiesAll of this spells a big opportunity for credit unions to talk to women business owners about credit, whether it’s opening up a business credit card account, or applying for a loan.Women are starting businesses at a record pace. They are doing their due diligence. And yet there is still a concern that they will not qualify for credit.   So be their trusted resource.Talk to business owners about their different credit options. Discuss when it’s best to use a business credit card, a loan, or a line of credit. Also talk about setting up a business loan vs. dipping into personal savings or their home equity.Ask women business owners, “If money was no object, what changes would you make in your business?” Help her map out which changes would help her business grow faster and how your services can facilitate those changes.Share stories of business owners in similar situations and how you helped them.Help her separate business and personal. Some people build businesses “on the side” while they are still working at their day job. If she (or he) is running that business through their personal account, show them the benefits of creating a separate business account (preparing taxes, tracking expenses, etc.)Ask your female members if they are running or helping to run a business.   Reach out to local women business groups. Ask them what questions they have about the right and wrong time to reach out for credit.   Then be their trusted resource, providing answers and helping them grow their businesses. That’s something every business owner is interested in. 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Holly Buchanan Holly Buchanan is the author of Selling Financial Services to Women – What Men Need to Know and Even Women Will Be Surprised to Learn. She is the co-author of The … Web: www.SellingFinancialServicesToWomen.com Detailslast_img read more