The Joys (and Challenges) of Being a Woman-Owned Business
Women-owned businesses have been sprouting up across the country and in the Triangle area in record numbers. Their growth and success come from an increased culture of support in our community. Tannan Plastic Surgery, a Raleigh NC woman-owned and operated business, was excited to contribute to The News & Observer’s recent article, “Triangle Businesses Owned by Women Face Challenges, Opportunity.”
As a board-certified female plastic surgeon and business owner, I contributed my answers to a series of questions from the newspaper. They wanted to learn about women-owned businesses and the challenges they face. Here is what I had to say about my experiences as a woman business owner and a board-certified female plastic surgeon:
What is the business climate like for women and a women-owned business in the Triangle?
We are fortunate to live and work in a community of vibrant like-minded people who truly want to see local businesses thrive. I’ve found this to be the case especially when it comes to fellow women business owners. In the beginning of my business venture, I leaned on other women entrepreneurs. I found them to be incredibly supportive – they knew my unique motivators in starting my own practice and could also relate to the challenges I faced.
The Triangle has a robust business environment, and the climate is much like that in other areas of the country. Women consistently must work harder to make as much of an impact as their male counterparts. As a female plastic surgeon, as one of a handful in this state, I know this reality quite well and have lived it all of my professional life. Thankfully this distribution is beginning to shift into a more even one in most business fields and career paths.
What’s the biggest challenge for a woman-owned business or company?
The very unusual challenges business owners face today are hardly unique to women. Directly or indirectly as a result of the pandemic, business owners have been forced to evaluate major shifts in business patterns. Are these short term, long term or permanent? Planning for the future for our businesses and our employees is now center stage. Initially our office closed to learn more about the risk of COVID. Now, since we have reopened, our schedules have not missed a beat. This has been a welcome event and has presented us with another set of hurdles. We have much more pent up demand, and we are trying to maintain social distance during a time of increased interest.
Many businesswomen follow their passions when beginning ventures. As for me, helping women achieve their goals (whether it is for my patients or my incredible staff) is always top-of-mind. We are an all-female office, and most of our staff have families. This has required some creative solutions to retain employees while being flexible with the school and family needs during this pandemic. To help overcome the stressors, we encourage employees to take care of themselves: emphasizing self-care, regular breaks away from their desks, and time off.
What else should people know about owning a business as a woman in the Triangle, or in North Carolina?
It is vital that you not feel alone in this journey. There are many resources available, both locally and nationally. Talking to other women entrepreneurs in the Triangle is key. There are so many resources to help women come up with business strategies. All the things – from business development, marketing, customer satisfaction to employee happiness/retention, are important. Surround yourself with other women who want to see you succeed.
We are thankful for our partnership with Diehl Plastic Surgery, led by another dynamic female business leader and board-certified plastic surgeon. Dr. Diehl has been an incredible wealth of knowledge and support during this unpredictable time. The community of women business leaders in the Triangle is truly unparalleled and empowers all of us to succeed.
Additionally, I have found the Chamber of Commerce, Women in Business group to be another tremendous source of support and information. They hold a conference every year. This is a great way to meet women from all echelons of business (ranging from CEOs, marketing professionals, to software engineers and administrative assistants). The Chamber > Women a Force in Business Annual Meeting is a strong resource for gathering useful information and meeting (and brainstorming) with like-minded people. It is also incredibly efficient for working moms like myself. Each year they invite leaders in diverse fields to speak and share their knowledge with the attendees. I was thrilled to be counted as a guest speaker before the pandemic.
Lastly, you have to be an advocate for yourself. You chose to build your business, in your vision, for a reason. Stay true to that goal and surround yourself with people who will help elevate you to achieve it.
How many women are at a leadership level in your woman-owned business?
Tannan Plastic Surgery is owned and operated by a board-certified female Plastic Surgeon. Our team of approximately 25 women includes folks from a variety of clinical and educational backgrounds from Office Manager to our Nurses, Medical Assistants and Surgical Technologists, and Support Staff. Approximately 50% of those are in leadership roles, whether clinical or administrative.
Did you know there are more than 100 women-owned businesses in the Triangle area? The News & Observer compiled an expansive list that includes Tannan Plastic Surgery! Stop by our office or call (919) 797-0996 to schedule a visit with Tannan Plastic Surgery.
Here are my TOP Recommendations for Businesses in the Triangle that are Owned and/or Led by Women
Want a curated list below of my faves when it comes to where to take your business in the Triangle? Watch out, you may run into me in the lobby!
See the News & Observer’s full list of Women-owned Businesses in the Triangle here!