Meanwhile, many of Miami’s small business owners, including women-owned businesses, are optimistic, and more than half (55 percent) anticipate a revenue increase for their small business over the next year. However, they remain concerned about the health of the overall economy. Most do not expect to increase hiring efforts. Only 22 percent plan to hire new employees in the next year, according to the Bank of America survey.
American Express Open also wants to see women business owners grow their businesses and hire. It just launched OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp. “It’s all about helping women entrepreneurs make a mindset shift to be more successful CEOs,” said Alexandra Ytuarte, an American Express Open executive. Already women are connecting online on the dedicated website, www.openforwomen.com/ceobootcamp/, tapping financial education resources and sharing challenges and solutions, she said.
An American Express Open survey found 72 percent of women entrepreneurs say their focus on growing their business is consistent, however, only 13 percent of women say they spend more time working ON the business rather than IN the business.
In Miami, American Express used the NAWBO conference to help roll out its new initiative aimed at building confidence, competence and connections for women. Charlotte Beers, former CEO of Ogilvy and Mather and author of I’d Rather Be in Charge, led a breakout from the CEO BootCamp curriculum on how to increase your confidence as a leader.
“Women need to say what we mean and speak in a way that we inspire and persuade others. This can be learned,” Beers said.
Beers, a former ad agency CEO who also worked for the Bush Administration as the Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, just wrote a book about her path of self discovery on the way to holding positions in the C-suite.
In Miami, she emphasized the golden rule of communication: It’s not what you say, it’s what they hear. As a female leader she advised: Eliminate the extraneous, don’t repeat yourself, and be willing to step out of the team to show you are convinced and committed to thinking a certain way on an issue.
“You have to master skill of being an artful communicator. One day, you will want to say, ‘this is the right thing to do’ and when you turn around, people are following you. That’s leadership!”
Miami Career Coach Casandra Roache said she encourages women business owners to dream bigger about their revenue growth. “They just need a little encouragement and help to break it down step by step.”