Female entrepreneurs are less likely to take a salary than their male counterparts this year (42% of women vs. 57% of men), according to the 2016 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor. The women who do pay themselves a salary earn an average of $17,470 less than their male counterparts. However, this is a $930 raise for female small business owners from 2015.
The survey is based on a nationally representative sample of small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees.
Other areas the Monitor reports on are staffing, retirement and business outlook.
A pulse taking of whats going on with the economy, the Small Business Monitor has been done twice a year for the past decade. This year, I find the findings to be interesting in that they are myth busting in a couple of ways. People think that women business owners are less ambitious and not as focused on growth. And this survey belies that. They are just as focused on growing their business and just as competent in whats going on within their business, Julie Weeks, American Express Opens Research Advisor, told TNJ Senior Editor Sergie Willoughby in a recent interview.
She continues, It was a little disconcerting to see that they are less likely to pay themselves a salary, but I have seen that in other surveys too. Knowing women business owners as I do, they are a lot more likely to pay others first and themselves second and third. So that trend still continues. But generally speaking I think it’s good that both men and women entrepreneurs are having a very positive view about whats going on economically. Thats very good news.
Surprising findings? Says Weekes, I think it is surprising that both women and men are equally likely to say that they are investing in their business. Thats another positive sign. Its one of the things that people pull back on when they are less confident in the economy. And it is great to see that 50 percent of women entrepreneurs are focusing on capital investments and investing in technology.
Other women business owner highlights are:
* The biggest challenge they face as they grow their business is finding the right staff (21%), followed closely by the rising costs of doing business (17%)
* They are more likely to say they are on track to save the funds they need for retirement (58%) when compared to their male counterparts (57%) and last year (54% last spring)
* However they are more worried about their ability to save for the retirement they want than they were last spring (52% up from 47% a year ago)
* On average they believe they will need $1,040,000 to retire, $70,000 less than they estimated last year
* They are less likely to expect cash flow issues over the next six months, (33%) compared to men (39%) and last spring (46%)
The most important priority for women business owners is keeping/maintain their current business and sources of revenue (39%)
(CLICK HERE for another article about women business owners.)