It’s Good to be Boss Despite Stress, Owners Agree

People have many reasons for going into business on their own. A new survey of small business owners, however, finds that the desire to be the boss trumps all other reasons. Three in 10 small-business owners said they started their businesses because of the independence it gives them.

Meanwhile, not quite two in 10 said they started businesses to become an expert in their field. Right around 15 percent said they inherited the business from their family, and a similar number started a business to try something new.

Being the boss, however, does have some drawbacks, according to the responses compiled for the Bank of America Small Business Owner Report. The data found that running a business was the most stressful thing in the life of a small business owner. In fact, among the 1,000 small business owners who were surveyed running a successful business ranked higher than doing physical activity, maintaining a healthy relationship or raising children in terms of stress.  

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Despite these stresses, small businesses owners were optimistic about the growth of their businesses.  Over 60 percent of respondents said they expected revenue to increase in the future, while just over 30 percent expected hiring to increase. Finding the right talent remained the biggest hurdle, although the small business executive for Bank of America said the solution may be as simple as offering financial incentives.

"As the economy continues to fluctuate and retirement costs continue to grow, financial benefits will become as much of a deal maker or deal breaker as professional opportunities," Robb Hilson, small business executive for Bank of America, said. "It is important for small business owners to be educated on affordable financial benefits solutions."

To acquire new customers and help their revenues grow, business owners will be placing a greater importance on marketing. Word-of-mouth referrals, networking and direct mail are the most effective means of marketing, the business owners said.

The Bank of America Small Business Owner Report also found that nearly 80 percent of small business owners who applied for a business loan in the past two years had been approved.  That would be welcome news to the small business owners who listed obtaining capital as a top challenge for their business. Even though a majority of small business owners were able to obtain a loan, most still agreed that lending requirements should be more lenient than they are.  

"We are very encouraged about these projections, and they indicate the possibility of a new level of prosperity and sustained vitality among our country's small business owners," Dean Athanasia, preferred and small business executive for Bank of America, said. "This is a positive sign for the economy at large. It is good to see the optimism, given the large impact that small businesses have on our economy."

The survey respondents employ from two to 99 employees and have revenues of at least $100,000 but under $5 million.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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