However, while a life of entrepreneurship sounds good on paper, living that dream doesn’t come without its own challenges and it takes more than just a great idea to make a business successful. According to the Bureau of Statistics there are 2.3 million small businesses in Australia and more than 60 per cent will not make it beyond three years of operation. So why are so many small businesses struggling?
A recent study conducted by marie claire and Salesforce, aimed at understanding women in small business in Australia, surveyed 120 female entrepreneurs who currently own or work at a small business. The study looked at factors including their motivations for going into business, the biggest challenges they face running their own business, how they balance work with family life and where they get the most satisfaction.
According to the study, 28 per cent of the women listed acquiring customers as the biggest challenge facing their business, closely followed by achieving work-life balance – despite flexibility and that ever-elusive work-life also being two of the biggest drivers for women moving into self-employment.
marie claire’s Career Editor, Alley Pascoe, says understanding the challenges of running a small business is key to start-up success. “Every year, I interview dozens of entrepreneurs and women in business for marie claire, and they all face unique challenges,” she explains. “Our Women In Business survey with Salesforce really took the pulse of Australian small business owners and it was interesting to see how many of them struggled with the same issues: acquiring customers, flexibility, work-life balance, financial management and adopting new technology. Our upcoming Small Business Brilliance Masterclass series will address all of these challenges and give practical advice – from women who’ve been there, done that, and built business empires.”
Adopting new technology was listed as one of the major struggles small business owners face. “We’re not surprised to see ‘technology adoption’ on this list,” said Bethany Nyberg, Senior Manager, Small Business Sales, Salesforce. “One thing that we constantly hear from our customers is the importance of starting off on the right foot with a technology platform that is scalable and future-proof. The right technology can help you better connect to your customers and create engaging experiences that build brand loyalty and keep customers coming back.”
The study identified the top three traits required to succeed in small business to be passion, dedication and strong money management. With the proper drive and determination you can take your idea from concept to cash-flow, so why then, do so many small businesses still fail? What is standing between a good idea, a passionate leader and a successful business – how do you acquire those customers?
Our Small Business Brilliance Masterclass series will ask those big questions, and pose them to the country’s most influential entrepreneurs, including Kate Morris from Adore Beauty, Pip Edwards from P.E Nation and Sally Obermeder and Maha Corbett from Swiish – all of whom have built incredible social media followings since starting out in business.
From our study, 46 per cent of the women surveyed said they were effectively using social media to drive their business and 40 per cent are effectively using payroll and billing software. However, they also noted cost being the major factor preventing them from adopting new technology.
marie claire is passionate about helping empower female entrepreneurs to succeed and so we have partnered with Salesforce to bring you our ‘Small Business Brilliance’ events this October which are aimed at people who want to start or work for a small business. Register your attendance here.