Smart Moves for Women Business Owners

Submitted by Edward JonesPrint Story | Email Story

Mother's Day is upon us. If you're a mother, you will enjoy the recognition you get from your family on this day. And given the health concerns caused by the coronavirus, your appreciation of family may be even greater this year. 

As we all know, mothers have a difficult job. And many mothers also run their own businesses – another demanding task made even more difficult these days. What special challenges do women face who embark on careers as business owners?

Of course, motherhood itself presents a major challenge. As a society, we have not achieved gender equity yet, in terms of family responsibilities, so mothers – even busy business owners – still face time constraints and interruptions from work to care for children. And it's not just children, either – the vast majority of caregivers for elderly relatives are women, according to a study from Northwestern University. So, many women business owners may be coping with multi-generational family issues.

You can't change the demographic pressures you may face, but, as a business owner, you can take some steps to help improve your financial outcomes. Here are a few ideas:

• Seek networking opportunities. You can find useful, and empathetic, allies in other women business owners, who may be able to direct you to valuable resources. To illustrate: Women's businesses often lack financial support to a greater degree than men's, and it is unfortunately not uncommon for women to be denied loans because of gender and cultural biases. But if you become active in a network of women business owners, you could find some leads to financial institutions that have showed themselves to be free of gender-based prejudices.

• Be extra aware of investment risks. Everyone should always be aware of investment risk, of course, but if you have most of your assets tied up in your business, you may need to be extra diligent. You're already taking a fair amount of risk by just having a business, so you may need to balance this risk in your investment portfolio by choosing the mix of investments that can help you move toward your goals without subjecting you to excessive market volatility.

• Establish a retirement plan for yourself. Have you established a retirement savings plan for yourself? About one-third of business owners haven't, and 40 percent are not confident they can retire before 65, according to data compiled by SCORE, a nonprofit organization that works with small businesses. Fortunately, you have several good retirement plan options, including an "owner-only" 401(k), a SEP-IRA, a SIMPLE IRA or even a solo defined benefit plan, which functions like a pension.

• Create a succession plan. You may need a strategy for transferring or selling your business. Do you want to keep the business in the family? If so, who do you want to take it over? Or would you prefer to simply sell it to someone else? Your decisions, whatever they are, will affect your financial picture and possibly that of your family, so you will want to consult with your tax, legal and financial advisors to arrive at a plan that works best for your needs.

You've got some twists and turns ahead of you on the road to financial security. But planning ahead, considering various possibilities and seizing your opportunities can help you smooth out the journey.

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones financial advisor. Courtesy of Rob Adams, 71 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247, 413-664-9253.. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation. For more information, see

0 Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

Isaias to Bring Rain, Wind to Northeast

A tropical storm warning has been issued for Massachusetts and Connecticut as now-Hurricane Isaias was nearing landfall along the Carolinas' coasts. Rain in the region is expected to start during the night on Monday and continue through Wednesday.
"Along and just northwest of the I-95 corridor of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England, heavy windblown rain with embedded thunderstorms will be the central theme from Isaias," AccuWeather Northeast weather expert Elliot Abrams said on Monday. 
Isaias is expected to make landfall Monday night as a Category 1 and shift inland, with Accuweather saying the eye of what should then be a tropical storm moving north over the Berkshires by late Tuesday. The National Weather Service in Albany is says it will impact southeast New York by Tuesday night and New England by early Wednesday morning. 
"Confidence is increasing with respect to the magnitude of local hazards and impacts," according to NWS. "Locally heavy rainfall and gusty winds are the main impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias."
View Full Story

More North Adams Stories