Editor’s Note: This post is part of an ongoing project focusing on women and money. You can read the first installment of the series here.
Though many female entrepreneurs have expressed reluctance and discomfort to us when it comes to handling money, not all women business owners feel that way.
Take Dara Kennedy of Ayla Beauty in San Francisco, for example. She said that her confidence regarding money existed before she became an entrepreneur — and didn’t wane a bit once she founded her venture.
“I believe to go out and raise funding for a business, one needs to have confidence to begin with,” she added.
Kennedy was also assured of what she did — and did not — want to do regarding securing capital for her business, noting, “I did not want to go the VC funding route because I really wanted to grow Ayla Beauty in a lean, smart way, and with this particular type of business I didn’t need a lot of startup capital to do that.”
Julie Rose, the president of the New York City-based Sweet Hospitality Group, was also self-assured from the get-go. She credits her naturally conservative, diligent nature for the confidence with which she handles her company’s money.
“We have credit lines and have had loans which I pay back way sooner than the due date. And, I have never felt nervous about asking for [money],” she told us.
Rose’s courage and determination also came in handy when dealing with banks.
“One time, we applied for project financing, and the bank hemmed and hawed about giving us a loan. I jumped on them right away, saying ‘You guys haven’t even looked at my numbers and you are saying no. I would advise you to go and do you homework and then you will be begging for my business,’” she recalled. “Maybe they were giving me a hard time because I was a woman, but I had zero patience for them.”
Her tenacity paid off. “I was so confident in our financial position that I knew that they would come back with their tail between their legs. And, of course, they did.”
And for Elle Kaplan, the CEO and founding partner of LexION Capital Management (also located in New York City), even the prospect of additional funding was not tempting enough to dissuade her from what she knew was best for her business.
“It was extremely important to me that I retain control of the vision and direction of my … firm, because we are an extremely mission-driven firm committed to a rigorously ethical and client-centric approach,” she explained. “Though I received several offers from angel and venture capitalists when building [my business], I never accepted.”
Kaplan continued, “I funded the firm myself and continue to grow successfully through bootstrapping. In addition, when you bootstrap, your current success fuels future growth, eliminating the risk of over-expansion. You retain control over the direction and the speed of your business’ growth.”
It’s important to remember that what may apply to some — or even many — does not apply to all. And that includes the ways in which women business owners interact with their finances.
For all posts from this project, please click here.