In a down economy, the future of a small business is largely uncertain. A start-up just learning the market, for example, doesn’t really know whether the business is going to hit jackpot or nosedive into the ground. Even a well established business faces an unknown future. A big enough change in consumer demand or a big enough onslaught of competition can push anyone out of business.
Yet, despite the uncertainty, entrepreneurs are still pursuing their dreams. In fact, since the economic collapse of the last few years, there has actually been growth in the small business sector. A recent report by Wave Accounting reveals some of the reasons why the number of entrepreneurs are growing.
Using data gathered from a customer base of over 250,000 people, the Summer 2012 Wave Small Business Report creates a picture of small business owners’ perspectives today. Below I’ve summarized the main points of the report and included Wave Accounting’s infographic, which should speak for itself.
Top Reasons for Becoming an Entrepreneur
- I want to be the boss (57%)
- I want flexibility/time for family (50%)
- I’m entrepreneurial (47%)
- The money is better (46%)
- I was unemployed (15%)
- Government incentives (2%)
Top Challenges of Being a Small Business Owner
Most business owners love what they do for a living (86%), but it can be difficult. Some of the challenges include variable income, long hours, and strained work/life balance. In the past, business itself struggled for the following reasons.
- Didn’t earn enough money (48%)
- High costs of business (38%)
- Decreased customer spending (30%)
- Increased competition (27%)
- Unsatisfactory business performance (23%)
Despite the challenges, most said the rewards were well worth the difficulty. Over half of entrepreneurs said they would never go back to working for someone else, and only a small percentage (4%) said they would not have done it had they known how difficult it would be.
An Optimistic Future for Small Business
Most business owners, new and established alike, were positive about their future (81%) and a large number were already in a growth phase (66%). Because of this growth, many businesses plan to launch new products, services or campaigns (73%), and plan to hire new employees (26%).
Based on this report, I’d say things are starting to look pretty good for small businesses.
What do you look forward to in the future of your business? What are some of the things that concern you?