Do women really prefer a female business advisor?
I’ve noticed over the years that about 60% of my business consultancy clients are women business owners. This is far higher than the proportion of female business owners generally – about 15% of businesses are owned outright by female entrepreneurs, and another 20% of businesses are co-owned by women. So why do I get more female business advice clients than male?
I’m a female business advisor
This would seem to be the most obvious factor – I’m a woman, so women would prefer a female business advisor.
I’m not so sure.
None of my female clients have ever said that they wanted a female business advisor, and they’re certainly not shy about employing men and doing deals with men because they do this all the time. So it must be something subconscious when we want advice, we want it from someone like us.
Women are more likely to take advice
Actually, this seems more likely.
There’s a definite difference between my female clients and my male clients. Women are more likely to ask for advice directly and say
“What do you think I should do about this contract?”
Whereas men are more likely to say what they are considering doing about the contract and then I’ll come in and make recommendations.
So maybe women are more likely to look for a business advisor in the first place.
Women like straight talking
I’ve been doing a bit of competitor analysis recently, looking at other business advisors and coaches and how they work.
What I have found is that I’m very direct compared to other people. I offer practical advice and give my thoughts on what my client should do.
It seems that this is unusual, and most business advisors are very non-directive and prefer to talk through the issues to help the business owner make a decision. This is more of a coaching model, I guess.
I, however, figure that if someone is paying me good money for my opinion, I should really give my opinion, as long as I’m making it very clear that it’s the client’s decision as to what they decide to do – it is their business after all.
So maybe this is why my client list has lots of women in it – they just like to get a clear idea of what they should do next. If you’re male or female and would like some straight talking about your business and the way forward, buy me a coffee and I’ll give you my thoughts.
Some more practical advice for you
Photo credits to Liz Finlayson from Vervate and Joshua Sazon on Unsplash