On behalf of Bank of America, we were once again thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of the National Women’s Business Conference and to be able to join the inspirational women of NAWBO in San Antonio. As many of you know, I was given the exciting opportunity to speak with you about the sacrifices that women business owners are making for the sake of their businesses.
Whether you want to or not, many of you are working long hours, delaying a raise or putting your own personal capital at risk. The latest iteration of the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report took a closer look at the sacrifices that business owners are making and found that many female business owners admirably prioritize the needs of their employees and customers over themselves.
A concurrent survey of NAWBO members found similar themes, and in fact, we found that in some cases, you are even more self-sacrificing than your national counterparts. Here’s a closer look:
Women business owners are struggling to balance personal and professional lives.
One in two NAWBO members work, on average, more than 50 hours a week; this is a lot, but they are doing a better job than their national counterparts at finding the right work-life balance, as 56 percent of women business owners nationwide report they are working more than 50 hours a week.
Women business owners aren’t rewarding themselves sufficiently.
We found that 31 percent of NAWBO members have never given themselves a raise, compared to nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of women small business owners nationwide.
NAWBO members have utilized personal funds for business purposes.
More than half (53 percent) of NAWBO members have carried business costs on their personal credit cards, 18 percent more than their national counterparts, while 21 percent have taken out a personal loan for their business.
I believe being self-sacrificing is an intrinsic characteristic of women business owners. But how do we create an environment, at home and in the workplace, where you are rewarding yourselves for your hard work and dedication to your businesses, employees and customers? To help develop a solution that works for you, I encourage you to ask yourself and your peers these three questions:
- Am I compensating not just my team, but myself, regularly and fairly, and not only financially, but also in my actions?
- How can I better delegate tasks and surround myself with dedicated employees so that I’m refreshed and inspired when walking into work every day?
- How can I limit my personal sacrifices while still supporting my business?
One theme rang loud and clear at this year’s conference: Despite the sacrifices you are making, most of you say that it’s worth it in the end. Click here to watch several small business owners who are members of NAWBO-Columbus talk about it.
Thank you again for allowing Bank of America to be a part of this year’s exciting conference. I look forward to hearing how each and every one of you is inspiring the change in your own lives!