Urban dictionary defines solo entrepreneurs as “entrepreneurs who work alone, “solo,” running their business single-handedly. They might have contractors for hire but they have a full responsibility for the running of their business.”
Sounds like quite a job, right? Indeed, it is. However, this challenge is not an obstacle for many people who have already engaged in this kind of business. The evidence of their success is the stories of million-dollar and over-$500,000 one-person businesses.
Even though there are no official statistics on the gender of these successful entrepreneurs, there are many women who were successful in the field. One of the speculations over the reasons why women are successful solo-entrepreneurs is better negotiation skills.
This argument has been explored in many business publications. For example, Ask for It: How Women Can Use Negotiation to Get What They Really Want written by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever suggested that negotiation is one of the most powerful tools used by women in business.
Why Female Solo-entrepreneurs Should Use Negotiations - Evidence
Why are business negotiations that powerful for women? Let’s see the reasons.
Women face negotiations on a daily basis because they play an important role with families, friends, and relationships. For example, they make the decisions on how to raise the children, selecting of vacation destination, determining the roles of family members within the household.
In addition to family roles, women perform many social roles that require substantial negotiation skills. For example, they fare better as nurses and social advocates.
Social and family contexts are not only the areas that women are great negotiators. They are better than men in finding peace-keeping and compromising solutions because they are less aggressive and more compassionate.
Cooperative and altruistic style of negotiation thus give them an edge in generating better solutions during negotiations.
When applied to the business, how can women be successful negotiators if they are cooperative? The answer is very simple. If a woman uses the same aggressive tactic as men, she would be immediately stigmatized as “iron lady” and “estrogen tornado.”
As the result, the men will be afraid to confront an “iron lady” and these women will receive more respect and recognition for their extraordinary skills. “Being an iron lady helped me to win the respect of partners while working with essay writing service,” says Jill Sanders, a blogger from Australia. “They just do not expect women to behave this way.”
Some studies back up these claims. For example, a 2016 study conducted at the Tel Aviv University concluded that women achieved better results when negotiating on behalf of friends. Moreover, they were recognized just as savvy and exacting as their male counterparts.
One of the chief researchers in this study, Dr. Hilla Dotan, explained these results by saying that “women tend to focus on the process of negotiations and on building relationships and reputations.” She added that “Women naturally form relationships and these organic friendships shouldn't be touched, because they ultimately prove profitable for the company.”
These results suggested that women can indeed be better at negotiating. As described in this Forbes article, women do not need lies and intimidation during business negotiations to get better results. This is because they naturally seek common ground and affinity. These characteristics can ensure that durable and collaborative agreements will be produced.
On the other hand, the aggressive style of men will produce lingering resentment instead of durable agreements. The difference between the styles is obvious.
What Does This Mean for Business?
Women form relationships with clients and partners in a different way than men. They concentrate on the process of negotiations and build the reputation because they have this natural skill to form truly organic relationships.
The partners of solo women entrepreneurs can see that they are reliable to work with. As the result, women can have an edge in business negotiations than men because they can apply the organic way of forming relationships. It is built on reputation, trust, and more cooperation.
Given that the effectiveness of women negotiating on the behalf of others was proven, this advantage can be used. For example, they can reframe the situation in negotiations, i.e. mentally change the situation around so they are negotiating on the behalf of someone else.
As the result, women solo entrepreneurs can negotiate a win-win solution faster than men who are known to tend towards the aggressive style. “Iron ladies” therefore can be more successful because they can receive more beneficial deals.
Deal with It…
There are many reasons why business negotiations can be the best tool for solo-entrepreneurs. First, their natural approach to form organic relationships involves finding common ground and affinity, which is appreciated in negotiations. Second, if a woman applies the same aggressive style than men she can intimidate them and become an “iron lady” by changing the situation mentally. Third, the women are very effective at producing better solutions on the behalf of others, which also can be used to get the best results.
Apparently, they are good at this and men will just have to deal with it.