When the going gets tough, small-business owners get going. At least that is what research by Hiscox, a specialty insurance provider, found in a recent survey of small-business owners and their outlook on the prospects for their business in the coming year.
Despite being in what was considered a down economy, with 57 percent of small businesses in the United States reporting little or no revenue growth in the last year, 47 percent of small-business owners remain optimistic about the upcoming year, according to the DNA of a survey of entrepreneurs. A little over a quarter of respondents, 26 percent, were not optimistic about the future, while 27 percent were not sure about prospects for the upcoming year.
"Small-business owners are pumping life blood into the global economy," said Bronek Masojada, CEO at Hiscox. "The strength and resilience of entrepreneurs continue to shine through. Every day, small businesses have to assess and manage a wide variety of risks at different levels of intensity. Our study highlights their concerns over threats from the global economic environment, which are often very hard to control or even predict. However, it also showed that they are optimistic and believe they can succeed despite this backdrop."
According to the survey, small-business owners remain optimistic about the future despite the following findings:
- 50 percent of small-business owners report more stress.
- 29 percent report lack of sleep and sleep problems.
- 33 percent of American small businesses were likely to be denied by banks when asking for more money or easier terms to fund their business.
- 61 percent of small-business owners in the United States said the current tax system is an impediment to people setting up their own business.
- 39 percent of business owners report customers paying bills later.
- More than half of respondents said the federal government was not a help to their business.
- Small-business owners in the United States work an average of 41 hours a week.
While the statistics seem to stack the deck against businesses, 26 percent of business owners still believed that running their own company was a better option than working for someone else. Additionally, 55 percent of respondents in the United States stated that the driving force behind starting their business was the desire to be their own boss.
The information in the "DNA of an Entrepreneur" study was based on the responses of 3,000 small-business owners or partners in business with 50 or fewer employees. The study also drew responses from businesses all around Europe.