If you’re in the job market, your next employment opportunity just might be working for a woman-led company. According to the recently released report, “Small Business: Lessons of the Recession,” which analyzed how more than 500 woman-owned business weathered the Great Recession, more women-owned firms are now hiring staff, compared to those who are reducing headcount. Forty-five percent report that, compared to their lowest quarters during the recession, they are now increasing their staff size. Less than 10 percent say they are cutting jobs.
During the recession, most women-owned firms employed cost-cutting measures to survive the turbulent economy (45 percent), while fewer opted for strategies to increase sales, according to the study. Of those focused on increased sales, more than half tapped into their current customer base to add revenue, rather than seeking new accounts. Today, however, most women business owners say their sales are still lower than prior to the start of the recession in 2007.
“During the recession, women-owned small businesses did the best they could with the few choices they had available to remain open for business, and they’re stronger today for it,” said Patricia Greene, Chairwoman of the Center for Women’s Business Research. “The real silver lining is that their resiliency provides valuable lessons on how today’s business owners can adapt to challenges.”
And what a difference a few years makes. Prior to the recession, just four percent of women-owned companies had implemented social media marketing, compared to the 56 percent today who claim the strategy is a very important part of their marketing.
Finally, women claim they are working harder than ever before, with 41 percent reporting they continue to work more than they did at the peak of the Great Recession.
The survey was a joint effort by Chase Card Services, the National Federation of Independent Business and the Center for Women’s Business Research.