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Report: Most Female Owners Expect Business to Grow

But they'd like to do it with as little risk as possible.
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A majority of female business owners expect their companies to grow over the next two years, but most don't want to raise prices—and they'd like to avoid risk, says a new report.

Four in five women hope to grow their businesses "substantially" or "at least a moderate amount" by 2013, according to a survey of some 700 female business owners done by PNC Financial Services Group. Eight percent were content with the current level of business, one percent plan to scale back, and three percent expect to close.

Most women are in it for the long haul: Just seven percent hoped to sell.

About 40 percent said they're willing to accept moderate risk to grow their businesses, but the majority prefer the conservative (or balanced) approach. Over half (56 percent) say they rely on new ways of doing things to make business decisions, compared to 44 percent who prefer to stick with what has worked in the past. Nearly two thirds (62 percent) said they'd rather rely on their own ideas as opposed to others'.

Other findings: Asked what drives them, 45 percent of respondents said it was passion for their business. Just under a quarter (22 percent) cited "financial success" as their main motivation. And when looking for professional advice, about half (49 percent) consult their spouses most often, followed by professional advisers (40 percent) and peers (30 percent).

In July, PNC released the first phase of findings, showing that women business owners feel squeezed by the economy. Just 15 percent plan to hire new employees in the next six months, while 72 percent expect to reduce expenses.

Last updated: Aug 11, 2011

Inc. contributing editor COURTNEY RUBIN was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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