Three Ways Financial Transparency Will Propel Your Woman-Owned Small Business
In an age where we can seemingly package all of our life and career highlights in a bow for social media, it’s more important than ever to come across as honest and relatable. And with the challenges that come with being a female business-owner in a male-dominated world, we have to be smart.
One of the simplest — though perhaps also most anxiety-producing — ways for female business owners to build a known, liked, and trusted business is to have financial transparency. After all, with so much excess noise and competition, standing out as reputable goes a long way!
Jess Glazer, who went from a physical education teacher to a multiple seven-figure CEO in part due to her financial transparency when building her brand, says:
As a leader and business owner, it is my responsibility to show the reality behind-the-scenes, challenges, struggles, the lessons learned, and all of the wins, as well.
Here are three ways that successful female CEOs have utilized honest financial transparency to grow their businesses to multiple figures.
Financial transparency empowers everyone.
Ellen Yin, CEO of Cubicle to CEO, is a multi-figure business owner that knows a thing or two about business coaching. As a Chinese-American woman, she particularly understands the importance of financial transparency, especially to empower minority women.
When you lead with transparency and share information, especially financial information, it empowers everyone else - especially fellow female entrepreneurs and people of color who are statistically less likely to reach certain income levels or be in positions of power. By showing others the path to what they want to achieve, you are offering them that their dream is realistic. You give them a reason to believe it's possible for them, too.
Yin has often looked to real-life examples to apply to her business, such as the story of the four-minute mile.
For centuries, scientists didn't believe the human body was capable of running a four-minute mile because no one had ever done it before. Then when Roger Bannister completed this feat in 1954, it shattered everyone's perceptions of 'what was possible' and created a NEW reality and new standard for runners. Using transparency as a tool to lead the way for others to succeed is why I believe in it so much!
Financial transparency can teach clients.
As a former school teacher, Jess Glazer views everything through the lens of teaching and sharing in a way that is easily digestible for her audiences. Being financially transparent is one of Glazer’s fundamental methods of teaching clients, especially in the business realm.
Being transparent allows others to see not only what is possible but what is realistic, how much work it takes, and how beautiful the rewards can be. Creating, building, and scaling a business isn’t all rainbows and sunshine.
Glazer believes as a female founder, it is especially paramount to show up without a filter in all areas.
We share our company wins, as well as client wins, to not only teach what is possible but to lift others. I believe that ‘a rising tide lifts all ships,’ and that is exactly what we teach our clients. When we share and celebrate them, their audience gets to celebrate them and see what is possible. Every time we share one another, we all grow from the lessons, energetic vibration rising, and exposure, from cross-pollination of audiences.
Be mindful to remain authentic when financially transparent.
While being transparent is necessary for growth, it is also essential to be mindful not to overshare. Abby Schultz, the CEO of Biz Builder Academy, a program that teaches entrepreneurs to build aligned and profitable businesses, prides herself on attracting dream clients without feeling like she is oversharing on social media.
There is a misconception that larger social media followings mean more money or easier sales, so by showing other pieces of data about your small business, you can build trust. As a female small business owner, I believe other female small business owners should be transparent with who they are, what they do, and the results they get, but only to the point that feels good to them; this will vary from woman to woman.
It’s all about what feels good, what helps build your company’s reach, and how you want to show up. Building trust is always a great thing to do to show yourself as a reliable expert, but if it doesn’t feel good or feels like you are over-exposed, then definitely don’t force it. Some women have no issues sharing how much their launches brought in, others prefer to share several clients signed up for a program, and others show their lifestyle.
The bottom line is, no matter what your sharing style, financial transparency for a woman small business leader is not only important, but pivotal to growing a business with integrity.
Olivia Liveng (nee Balsinger) is an experienced storytelling coach, brand strategist, entertainment producer, and CEO of Liveng Public Relations, an agency amplifying hospitality, tourism, and female voices. She's also an award-winning travel journalist, with bylines in Fodors, Forbes, New York Post, Business Insider, and LA Style. Find her on Instagram at @livliveng.
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