Yes, ladies, size does matter, at least when it comes to your dreams of running a business of your own. That is why Women’s Economic Ventures is holding its second annual “Think BIG” conference, a session meant for female entrepreneurs who are interested in taking the next step and expanding their businesses beyond their boundaries.
“The conference is targeted toward women in particular who have been in business for three to five years and are really looking for an opportunity to grow, to establish new markets, to maybe look at issues they haven’t looked at previously,” WEV president Judy Hawkins said.
Hawkins said women generally tend to open service-based businesses whose size can become limited based on the amount of service that the owner, as the sole proprietor, can deliver. Outside of that service, however, there are other ways female entrepreneurs can expand their business, she noted.
“Another thing we see is that, compared to men, women are generally more risk-averse,” said Hawkins, explaining that women business owners are generally more reluctant to borrow money, or invest in themselves to grow their business.
“We have a lot of business skills that we don’t think we have,” said Hawkins.
A woman who is holding down a job, raising children and managing a home may have the necessary skills to start and grow a business but may not see those skills as relevant, she said.
For women — and men, too — who are willing to make the big investment, WEV is offering a series of four conferences, each concentrating on a specific area of business growth and expansion. Friday’s event focuses on the difficult, and often dreaded, art of selling.
“We want to give participants knowledge that they can use the next day,” said Hawkins — which means by Monday, participants will know how to sell fearlessly, conduct the cold call sale, or figure out a way to eliminate the competition through pricing strategies. This knowledge comes from skills that the participants will likely already have, she said.
Unlike the traditional, more aggressive sell, WEV participants, under the guidance of speaker and longtime sales coach Alyse Hart, will learn to “sell it like a woman,” meaning developing relationships, identifying a potential client’s particular needs and giving choices.
It takes more time, said Hawkins, but it’s a more natural way for a woman to sell.
Future conference topics will include marketing, growth and sustainability over the long term.
WEV’s Fearless Selling conference is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Click here to register or call 805.965.6073.