No one ever said running a successful small business was easy. At times, it can seem like a David and Goliath type of fight: the small business, with limited resources, going up against monolithic big companies. Yet small businesses make up nearly all of the US employer firms, according to the Small Business Administration. Of these, 52% are home-based businesses, 73% are sole proprietorships, and 21% are employed businesses (businesses that hire other people to work for them).
In other words, there are way more small businesses like us than there are of the big guys. You’re not alone. Chances are, you are also not alone in the challenges you confront as a small-business owner. What are these challenges? Two recent studies tell us.
Do These Challenges Sound Familiar?
The first study was based on information gleaned from an online poll by Forbes.com. In it, more than half (58%) of small-business owners stated that sales were their biggest concern. With an economy that is still frequently faltering, this holds true across the board. The surprise for many Forbes readers was what issues didn’t bother business owners much: finding qualified help (10%) and managing Obamacare/healthcare (less than 10%).
A study of quarterly trends by Gallup backed up these concerns. For the businesses they surveyed, 21% were concerned about boosting their sales rates. The next biggest concerns were coping with the economy and government regulation—11% apiece. Healthcare transitioning and staff woes only made up 8% (each) of the total.
Is your business going great? Do you have nothing at all to worry about? In that case, join the 2% of business owners polled by Gallup who would agree.
The Takeaway From These Surveys
So, how does this information help you? For one thing, if you’re trying to increase your sales, you’re definitely not alone. But that’s been a constant for business owners pretty much since business began. The fact that so many small-business owners continue to operate and even thrive in this competitive market should be inspiring, if nothing else—at least in terms of networking with them to swap ideas and solutions.
While large businesses get all the attention, it’s the small businesses that lead the way in employment. Large or small though, both business types face the all-important problem of growing in a tough economy.