A new report from the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy is a statistical fruitcake: it's studded with rich little bits, buried in heavy prose. I'll pry out the juicy nuggets so you can see if your entrepreneurial venture is a winner, statistically speaking. Let's dig into "Gender and Establishment Dynamics 2002 - 2006." Just for fun, award yourself one point for each "yes" answer and we'll score your chances at the end:
1.Women-owned businesses are expanding faster than male-owned businesses in 80% of the states. The average four-year survival rate for women-owned businesses is 66%. Has your business hit its five-year anniversary? You get one point.
2. Women-owned businesses with more employees are less likely to close. Women owned businesses that were thriving from 2002 to 2006 had an average of 7.5 employees. Those that failed in that span had an average of 4.8 employees. Do you have at least five employees? You get one point.
3. Women-owned businesses grew faster than male-owned businesses in four industries. Are you in construction, management, educational services, or business services? You get one point.
4. Women-owned businesses were less likely to see a drop in revenues than male-owned businesses in four industries. Are you in real estate and leasing; health-care management; arts and entertainment; or hospitality and food services? You get one point.
5. Danger zone! Women-owned businesses in fivecategories were more likely to fail completely than male-owned competitors. Are you in agricultural, fishing or hunting; retail; arts and entertainment; health care; or hospitality and food services? Subtract a point. (Note: Overall, women-owned businesses were 5.6% more likely to fail than male-owned businesses.)
6. In these ten states women-owned businesses are most likely to make it at all: Rhode Island, Montana, Wisconsin, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Maryland. Give yourself one point if your company is based in one of these states.
7. In ten states, women-owned businesses are most likely to grow: Idaho, Montana, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Kentucky, North Dakota, Virginia, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Washington. Give yourself one point if your company is based in one of these states.
Results:5 or more points: Chances are strong that your company has gained enough traction to keep growing.
3 to 4 points: Statistically, your chances are mixed. Can you address the factors most likely to hold you back?
2 or fewer points: The odds appear to be stacked against you. You'll want to learn more about the factors that could undermine your success. Have you got the resources, imagination and gumption to overcome them?