Different Strokes: More Female Small Business Owners Looking To Grow, While More Men Seek To Maintain

And more are likely to view social media as a major contributor to the success of their business than male owners

October 25, 2013 – HARTFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Women small business owners are more likely than their male counterparts to say that their primary business goal is to grow their business, according to The Hartford’s 2013 Small Business Success Study. Thinking about how their business is operating right now, 44 percent of women report that their primary goal is to grow their business significantly, compared to 33 percent of men owners. Alternatively, when it comes to maintaining the business at its current size, 55 percent of men cite this as a primary business goal compared to 49 percent of women.

“It is encouraging that there has been a significant increase in the number of women-owned small businesses, and that many of them are focused on finding ways to grow their business,” said Kathy Bromage, senior vice president of strategy for Small Commercial. “We celebrate the commitment of all small business owners, their resiliency and resourcefulness. These qualities help fuel our economy and generate job growth.”

Getting Social

Twice as many women than men cite social media as a major contributor to the success of their small business. Twenty-eight percent of women say it is a major contributor, while only 14 percent of men cite social media as a major contributor.

Christa Doran, owner of Tuff Girl Fitness in Hamden, Conn., uses social media to extend her reach and provide positive messages to her customers outside of the gym. She uses social channels more than her husband, who runs the business with her.

“I use social media to promote consistent messaging and to grow my brand. I am diligent about posting something every day to keep my brand buzzing and top of mind,” she said. “I utilize social media to also offer deals, let clients know about changes and new products, and to provide positive feedback to encourage new members to try us out.”

More Women Optimistic, Just As Conservative As Men

Just as many male business owners (79 percent) as female (78 percent) report being conservative in taking risks with their business currently, contradicting the stereotype that women are more conservative. Although equally conservative, more women small business owners are optimistic that the national economy will strengthen this year compared to men (55 percent and 45 percent, respectively).

Feeling Successful

The Hartford’s third annual study found that women and men define success slightly differently and have different views on what factors contribute to their success. More women (83 percent) say that making enough money to have a comfortable lifestyle is important to their definition of success compared to men (75 percent).

For business owners whose definitions of success have changed since first starting their business, more women than men say it has to do with changes in their personal life. Half of women (52 percent) report a change in their personal life, such as a health issue or having children, altered their definition of success, compared to only 35 percent of men. Men owners (37 percent) are more likely to say achieving initial business objectives changed their definition of success compared to women (26 percent).

For more information about The Hartford’s 2013 Small Business Success Study visit here.


The Hartford 2013 Small Business Success Study Methodology
Braun Research conducted a telephone survey among small business owners across the United States for The Hartford. A total of 2,000 interviews were completed with owners of for-profit businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees that have been in business for at least one year. The study included a nationally representative sample of businesses in the United States. One respondent per business was interviewed. The interviews took place between July 26 and August 12, 2013. The margin of error is ± 2.19% at the 95 percent confidence level.

About The Hartford
With more than 200 years of expertise, The Hartford (NYSE: HIG) is a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds. The company is widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust and integrity. More information on the company and its financial performance is available at www.thehartford.com