Women Business Owners Optimistic about '09 Revenue Growth

November 17, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey finds women business owners optimistic about revenue growth in 2009, but more exposed to liability risks.

Nearly three in five (58%) women business owners said they anticipate their organizations’ revenues will grow in 2009, and nearly one-half (44%) indicated they do not expect difficulty in obtaining access to credit, according to a press release on the 2008 Business Risk Survey conducted by the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies and the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO).

One-half of the respondents (54%) noted that their company is likely to broaden its product offering in 2009, and 13% said they would add international offices. “However, the very same activities that will help these women grow their businesses may also increase their companies’ exposure to a liability lawsuit,” said Lisa Jones, vice president, Chubb & Son, and private commercial product manager for Chubb Specialty Insurance, in the press release.

Jones noted that new products could present opportunities for product liability and errors and omissions claims, while international growth could “open the door to liability lawsuits in countries with laws and regulations that differ from those in the United States.”

Survey respondents also indicated that in 2009 their companies are likely to outsource functions or operations (24%), reduce their workforce (19%), and reduce or eliminate some employee benefits (13%).

The 2008 Business Risk Survey was conducted in October 2008 and queried 160 women chief executive officers and presidents who are members of the Women Presidents’ Organization, a non-profit peer advisory membership organization for women presidents of multimillion-dollar companies.