Small Business Owners: Being an Entrepreneur Makes Them Happy

2 min read • May 19, 2017 • Melanie King

Small business owners continue to be upbeat about business conditions, and a recent survey shows that being an entrepreneur makes them happy. The data comes from the 2017 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor survey of 700 U.S. small business owners and managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees. According to the survey, 94 percent of respondents said they are happy with their lives, and of these, more than 80 percent said their happiness is due somewhat or entirely to being an entrepreneur.

The majority of the entrepreneurs also reported their salaries holding steady year over year (55 percent vs. 51 percent last year). Business owners reported taking an average salary of $75,970 annually, mostly unchanged from $76,010 last year. Fewer business owners reported feeling worried about their ability to save for retirement than last year (45 percent, down from 53 percent last year).

While one in five entrepreneurs said that their businesses are “riding high” and growing strong in the current economy, growth is still their number one priority. Almost three quarters of the business owners said they have a positive outlook on their business prospects over the next six months, up from 64 percent last year, and they plan to channel their optimism into accessing capital and investing in new employees and marketing tools.

“In this economy, there’s a clear correlation between business owner optimism and plans for growth,” said Susan Sobbott, President, Global Commercial Payments, American Express. As they look to grow, business owners plan to increase capital investments, hire staff and increase usage of low cost methods like social media to attract new customers.”

Business owners said they are confident they can access the capital they need to grow (82 percent, down only one percent from 2016), and nearly three quarters said they’ll need to hire more employees to keep up with current business growth. Respondents said finding and hiring the right staff is their number one challenge to growth.



Melanie King

As a reporter and editor, Melanie has written about everything from retail and tourism trends to economic development for regional newspapers, trade publications, and national magazines. As Lendio’s Director of Public Relations, she specializes in reporting fintech industry news and its impact on American small businesses. Melanie has a B.A. in Journalism from Brigham Young University. She is also a backpacker, runner, and mom of four.