Getting Started

Launching a business costs less than most women think

- March 22, 2023 3 MIN READ


Research for GoDaddy found financial freedom and flexibility were the main motivators for Aussie women entrepreneurs, with three quarters saying there was more opportunity in owning their own business than in working for someone else, writes Suzanne Mitchell, Australia Market Lead for GoDaddy.

Yet most Australian women wanting to start a business tend to overestimate the likely cost by 37 per cent on average. The survey of 1,011 Australian aspiring and current women business owners was conducted to shine a light on the motivators and mindsets of women entrepreneurs.

It also found that five out of six (83 per cent) working women surveyed have experienced burnout at some point in their careers.

Launching a business can cost less than most women think

The survey found women tend to underestimate their potential earnings by at least 11 per cent.

Three out of five (62 per cent) women surveyed said they started their business for under $1,000, with 19 per cent launching with no startup costs at all.

On average, the Aussie women surveyed said their business generated just over $77,000 a year.

What’s motivating women in business?

More than half (55 per cent) of the aspiring women entrepreneurs surveyed said they were motivated to set up their own business or side hustle for the financial opportunities. A further 27 per cent said their main driver for going into business was the flexibility to work to their own schedule.

Of the women who already owned a business, 43 per cent nominated financial opportunities as the greatest motivator while a quarter said flexibility.

Ellie and Elyssa of Victorian small business, Sage + Country, started a side hustle in 2022 creating baby keepsakes with a laser printer.

The business has taken off and the two school friends, who both hold down other day jobs, say they would love to make Sage + Country a full-time gig.

“We would just love to go big,” Ellie said. “Quit our jobs, do this big. Even get a shop. Still do everything we do, customise everything [and] bring in a baby range as well, so clothes, baby goods – that kind of stuff.”

Time and money holding women back

Set-up costs and time constraints were nominated as the biggest barriers holding women back from launching a business or side hustle.

More than half of women in business said time commitments were the main hurdle to starting their own business, closely followed by set-up costs. Childcare expectations and costs were also a factor for 39 per cent of women.

Ellie and Elyssa understand these challenges, having launched their business when Elyssa’s baby was just eight weeks old and after Ellie had just returned to work from maternity leave.

“Navigating these new chapters of our lives whilst launching a new business along with the outlay of finances was definitely a struggle,’’ Ellie said. “We had a real passion for what we wanted to create, and we continued to remind ourselves of our goals each day. Through persistence, and the support of everyone around us, we were able to achieve what we set out to do.”

Women entrepreneurs understand the value in being online

With the huge rise in eCommerce during the pandemic , the survey results also reflected the growing importance of a web presence for small businesses.

More than eight in ten (86 per cent) aspiring women entrepreneurs said they plan to have a website for their business.

Of these, 39 per cent backed themselves to build their own website, while 47 per cent expected they would need help.

What does 2023 hold for women in business?

With interest rates continuing their record run of rises and energy and household costs rising, almost half of the women in business surveyed expect cost of living to be the year’s biggest challenge.

A further 45 per cent said turning a profit would be challenging, while marketing and reaching new customers were a concern for two in five women in business.

Despite the challenges ahead, women entrepreneurs remained optimistic about what they could achieve this year with almost a third saying they expected to grow their business or side hustle.

It’s clear that despite the rocky economic conditions, many women are prepared to back themselves in business to set up what they believe will be a more financially secure and flexible future for themselves.

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