Advisors looking to attract small business owners as clients might want to focus on female entrepreneurs.

In a survey of U.S. small business owners, San Francisco-based Bank of the West found that women were more likely to view their financial advisors as important in managing, growing and protecting their assets. Almost three in 10 women (29%) believed the advice of a financial advisor was important, whereas only 21% of men held the same view. 

While the majority of male and female business owners named financial advisors among the top three subject matter experts for someone starting their own business, a significantly higher percentage of women (44%) listed financial advisors as the most important asset. Only 35% of men shared the same sentiment.

"Before women reap the benefits of their hard work, they take crucial steps to prepare themselves for small business ownership," Michelle Di Gangi, executive vice president of small and medium enterprise banking at Bank of the West, said in a statement. "They realize the importance of relying on trusted advisors and mentors to help get their businesses to take off."

According to the survey, women were much more likely to do their homework before jumping into business ownership. More than one in three women (35%) took business classes, compared with 26% of men who did. They were also more likely to conduct Web-based research, with 31% of female entrepreneurs doing so.  Among male entrepreneurs, only 21% conducted such research.

That said, women did not fully immerse themselves in knowing the economic ramifications involved in starting a business, making them better candidates for financial advice. According to the survey, only 39% of women—compared to 51% of men—understood the financial implications completely or very well.

The survey polled 504 U.S. residents who own a business with two or more non-owner full-time employees and less than $10 million in annual revenue. The businesses had to be in operation for at least five years. The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll between May 6 and May 19, 2014. 

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