Gender  –  Leadership

AUS report: Women entrepreneurs - 18 inspiring tales of small business success

Published: April 2007, Aequus Partners Newsletter

6.1  Background

Leadership In a country where 95% of businesses are small business, women now comprise at least One third of all small business owners, significantly contributing to this way of working. This month the Australian Government, through the Office for Women and the Office for Small Business, released a booklet of 18 experiences of businesswomen entrepreneurs, detailing their successes and recommendations for others who may want to take this path. Aequus Partners was one of the small businesses featured in the publication.

6.2  Common Themes

The women profiled came from an array of disciplines, including: management consulting, farming, picture framing and tourism. There were common themes that emerged when analysing the stories of success, including the provision of tips on how to use an entrepreneurial style. These can be translated into numerous job roles, and should not just be considered in the domain of small business.

The top tips:
  • Finance:  ensure you have enough finance behind you if business is slow or starts to falter.
  • Networking:  foster a network of suppliers and other business owners for support, advice and conversation.
  • Cash flow:  do not mistake cash flow for profit.
  • Business plan:  ensure that when you are starting out you have researched the market, and have developed a well-written business plan.
  • Management:  develop your leadership and management skills to ensure the accurate provision of service and/or products to clients, suppliers and employees.
  • Outsourcing:  be aware of your strengths and weaknesses - do not be scared to outsource those services that are not in your area of expertise, such as an accountant.
  • Business partners:  choose your business partners carefully. You must ensure that you compliment each other's skills and knowledge. Carefully consider going into business with family and/or friends.
  • Team:  if you are in the situation where you need to take on additional staff ensure you adopt a culture of producing team morale and providing flexible and adaptable work opportunities.
  • Help:  know when and where to seek help from. Whether it's through your networks or through government provided websites or services, there are numerous options out there ready to help small businesses succeed.
6.3  Conclusion

The valuable insights into the considerations, challenges and benefits of running small business can be readily transferred into other business settings. The lessons from each of the 18 stories identify how an employee can adopt an entrepreneurial attitude, either within their own organisation or within a small business. The bottom line for each of the experiences profiled is that a successful business is driven by motivation, passion, structure and a good business product or service.

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