SILVER SPRING, Md.-Women business owners tend to manage their businesses differently, compared with their male counterparts, and that is usually evidenced by the benefits they offer, according to the National Foundation of Women Business Owners. Women business owners are more likely than other small business owners to offer such benefits as flex-time, tuition reimbursement and job sharing, and they share their business' profits with their employees at a much earlier stage than other businesses, according to the NFWBO, the non-profit research arm of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
Several women tire dealers told TIRE BUSINESS they offer flex-time for their employees, but the option is usually more applicable to women employees in bookkeeping, who need to adjust their usual work schedules for child care needs.
However, salespeople's schedules cannot be as flexible, noted Susan English of Suburban Tire Co., in Glendale Heights, Ill., since someone has to be on duty on the sales floor at all times.
The NFWBO report also indicated there tends to be gender differences in making management decisions. Women business owners are more likely to emphasize intuitive thinking-stressing creativity, sensitivity and values.
But men business owners are more likely to emphasize logical thinking, stressing analysis, processing information methodically and developing procedures.
Women business owners are more reflective when making decisions, weighing options and outcomes before moving to action, gathering more information and seeking more advice prior to rendering a decision, the NFWBO reported.
However, despite these gender differences, ``women and men entrepreneurs are more like each other than they are like the general working population.''
The greatest challenge women business owners face, in their own words, the NFWBO reported, is being taken seriously-proving their personal capability and the credibility of their business.
But the greatest rewards they derive from entrepreneurship, the study continued, is the feeling of empowerment they derive from being the mistress of their own fate.