Sherrill said the biggest challenge in her industry is battling the high level of outsourcing work to India. She receives e-mails and phone calls daily from companies in India that want her to outsource Knightling’s work. “They work for peanuts,” she said. “You could not go to school, get an education and have a full-time job for what they pay you. That’s hurting not only me as a small business owner, but it’s hurting all of the people who have this degree because the value has gone down. It’s hurting the kids in college who are coming out and looking for a job because a lot of the big agencies are saying, ‘We can get this done in India for cheap,’ which, if you’re just looking at your bottom line, makes sense. But if you’re looking at your community and all of the resources here, you’re really reducing the amount of local jobs for skilled, talented workers.”
The Center for Women’s Research cited that, as of 2008, 10.1 million U.S. firms were 50 percent or more owned by women, and women-owned firms made up 40 percent of all privately held firms in the country. Last October, the center conducted a survey of 145 women business owners and asked several questions related to challenges faced and efforts taken to improve business.
When asked what changes they have made to better position their business for the post-recession economic upswing, the majority of women said they created a new product or service to diversify the business or began new marketing and advertising campaigns for the business. Other women business owners implemented or upgraded technology, while fewer invested money in the business or hired new employees.
Regardless of industry – be it financial services, retail, real estate, healthcare, marketing, design or manufacturing – slow-moving economic growth is keeping business owners on their toes.