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Women Business Owners' Optimism Climbs for Third Straight Year, Finds Report by NAWBO, Web.com

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Optimism of overall business performance from both a general and economic standpoint has trended upward in the last three years, growing 12 percent and 16 percent, respectively, since 2013, finds the 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report commissioned by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WWWW), a leading provider of comprehensive, online services for small businesses.

The report, developed from an annual survey* of more than 300 women business owners (WBOs) who are NAWBO members from around the nation, also shows that family and by extension – work/life balance – ranks next to last (65 percent) of the top five key motivators for starting a business. The ability to express passion for your vocation ranked first at 92 percent.

"This third annual report is a key indicator that our economy is on the mend based on the significant trend upward in women business owners' optimism for 2015," said Darla Beggs, national board chair of NAWBO. "With a continued and overwhelmingly positive outlook on business, 2015 will be a pivotal year for women business owners as many respondents noted that the 'time has never been better' for women to start their own businesses."

Marketing tops the list of investment intentions for women-owned small businesses this year (55 percent), with product/service development coming in second (25 percent). Looking further into marketing plans, LinkedIn is by far the most valued social media channel at 87 percent, while Facebook ranks a not-so-close second at 67 percent.

When asked about the most important marketing tools, a business' website (92 percent) and social media presence (77 percent) continued to land at the top this year, with search engine optimization (SEO) following in third (72 percent). Having a website optimized for mobile presence and functionality represented the most significant increase in the marketing consideration set, trending upwards at 29 percent since 2013. Though, due to the advances in technology, WBOs' still lack confidence in their ability to design and maintain their business' website with a 25 percent decrease from 2013 to 2015, as well as to employ mobile marketing activities, representing a stagnant trend line at 33 percent for each of the last three years.

The 2015 report also shows:

  • It takes more than just an idea to succeed. Women business owners agree that passion and optimism for the business idea, vision to succeed long-term and networking abilities to attract new customers are the key personality traits a woman needs to successfully run her own business (all three at 95 percent). Risk-taking attitude and willingness to fail trails shortly behind at 92 percent.
  • Education policies, regulatory burdens and labor costs are issues important to WBOs. Just as in 2014, the state of the economy, taxes and cost of health insurance tallied at the top of list of business trends and issues that are important to WBOs. As for issues keeping WBOs up at night this year more than last, education policies and their impact on the quality of workforce saw the largest jump (+ eight percentage points at 59 percent); while labor costs, availability of skilled workers and immigration reform also saw significant attention (66 percent); and finally, regulatory burdens followed at 55 percent.

"It is very telling to see that women business owners continue to recognize a website, social media and mobile presence as vital components to their business' success in 2015, but they don't have the confidence in their ability to develop and maintain these areas," said David L. Brown, chairman, CEO and president of Web.com. "Whether they lack the time or resources, finding the right tool or partner to fill this void will be the key ingredient to WBOs' success. They will also be able to rest easier regarding their top main concerns reported – gaining new customers, maintaining existing customers and increased positive cash flow."

2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report and Infographic

Please find the full 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report by clicking here, and to view and share the 2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report infographic, click here. Social conversations may be followed through the hashtag, #WBOReport.

About Web.com

Web.com Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WWWW) provides a full range of Internet services to small businesses to help them compete and succeed online. Web.com meets the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle with affordable, subscription-based solutions including domains, hosting, website design and management, search engine optimization, online marketing campaigns, local sales leads, social media, mobile products, eCommerce solutions and call center services. For more information, please visit www.web.com; follow Web.com on Twitter @webdotcom or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/web.com. For additional online marketing resources and small business networking, please visit forum.web.com.

Note to Editors: Web.com is a registered trademark of Web.com Group, Inc.

About NAWBO®

Founded in 1975, the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) propels women entrepreneurs into economic, social and political spheres of power worldwide by: strengthening the wealth-creating capacity of our members and promoting economic development within the entrepreneurial community; creating innovative and effective change in the business culture; building strategic alliances, coalitions and affiliations; and transforming public policy and influencing opinion makers. Learn more at www.nawbo.org.

*Methodology

The 2015 online survey of 306 NAWBO members was fielded by NAWBO from March 19 – April 4, 2015, with a ±3.0% to 3.5% margin of error at a 95% confidence level

CONTACT: Elaine Steinfeld Golin for Web.com 972.341.2585 esteinfeld@golin.com Joy Lutes NAWBO, Public Policy and Public Relations 703.362.0150 jlutes@nawbo.org

Source:Web.com