A new, independent survey has found that Small Business Owners share several distinct attributes – a sort of unique “DNA” – that help them live their passions while adapting to the shifting economic landscape.
The study commissioned by Deluxe Corporation a provider of marketing and business products for small business surveyed more than 1,000 SMB owners around the U.S. in March of this year. The results showed 86 percent of the respondents believe they can do anything they set their minds to, with 77 percent also stating they would rather learn from failure instead of never trying at all.
“We already knew small business owners were risk takers and leaders,” said Tim Carroll, vice president of small business engagement at Deluxe. “These findings reveal how small business owners are wired and what attracts them to a less-predictable career path.
Study highlights include:
- Heredity: Three-fourths (76 percent) of SMB owners have a family member who owned a small business.
- Leadership tendencies: More than half (54 percent) of SMB owners wanted to work for themselves or not have a boss. A majority (89 percent) described themselves as leaders, doers (78 percent) and practical (80 percent).
- Work-Life Balance: Women were more likely than men to say they started their businesses for flexible hours (40 vs. 25 percent).
- I Can Do That: Men were more likely than women to say they started their businesses because they believed they could do it better than their competitors (25 vs. 15 percent) and more likely to say they always knew someday they would own their own small businesses (37 vs. 18 percent).
Compared to the general population, the research also showed SMB owners have further distinguishing characteristics:
- Ability to influence: SMB owners are more than twice as likely to be asked for their opinions about what to buy, places to visit, or restaurants to try (33 vs. 15 percent). They are also more likely to be good at convincing others to try new products (51 vs. 32 percent).
- They do their homework: A majority (79 vs. 44 percent) of SMB owners research products thoroughly before they purchase.
- Demographics: SMB owners are more likely to be male (53 vs. 47 percent), to have a college or higher degree (73 vs. 37 percent), to be married (69 vs. 52 percent), and to be older (58.2 vs. 46.1 years).
When asked “What prompted you to start your business?”, the survey respondents tended to fall within one of seven distinct attitudinal clusters:
- All Heart: They are in business for one reason only – they want to do what they love and share it with others.
- Encore Career: Team players who are entering a second phase of their careers and took a risk with starting their own businesses.
- Passionately Confident: Risk-takers who are born to be business owners, enjoy choosing their own paths and are very passionate about their life’s work.
- All in the Family: Traditional-types who inherited their status as SMB owners, accounting for their long tenure and larger business size.
- My Way: Self-motivated owners who started their own businesses for the opportunity to get what they most value – control over their schedules and hours.
- Mastering the Niche: Visionaries who began their businesses because they saw an opportunity and wanted to capitalize on it.
- Boss-me-not: Experienced business professionals who left their for-profit, corporate, and usually entirely unrelated jobs for one reason – to be their own bosses.