Why Small Business Owners Say All Their Hard Work is Worth It

small business worth

By Michelle Di Gangi, executive vice president of small and medium size enterprise banking at Bank of the West

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Always on the job, small business owners throw themselves into their work in order to build financial stability and ultimately create a lasting legacy for their families. The road is not always easy for America’s entrepreneurs.But new research affirms that despite the challenges,small business owners say the juice is worth the squeeze.

The 2016 Bank of the West Small Business Growth Survey and Index sheds light on this. More than eight in ten small business owners say that they put everything they have into running their business—and yet an overwhelming 86 percent say all they’ve sacrificed for their business has been worth it.

So what’s driving today’s entrepreneurs to take the plunge?

Free to Chart Your Own Path

Owning your own business comes with a level of freedom and flexibility simply not afforded by a traditional 9-to-5. Ninety-four percent of small business owners say that owning their own business puts them in charge of their own destiny, 91 percent love the freedom that comes with owning a small business and 83 percent say running their company makes them feel empowered.

Small business owners also feel they are making a difference by running companies integral to their local communities by contributing to the local economy (84%) and making a positive impact on the community (80%). Running a business brings small business owners closer to home, as well: 70 percent say their small business provides them with opportunities to connect with their families and 67 percent feel they’re providing a legacy for their families through their small businesses.

For America’s small business owners, these perks far outweigh the challenges that go along with the job, from living with the uncertainty that comes with owning a business (52%) and always being on the job (43%), to financial worries keeping them up at night such as socking away enough to retire (41%), ensuring their families are financially comfortable (35%) and managing cash flow (31%).

Small Business Owners Are Confident, Despite Economic and Political Question Marks

This year’s survey shows that the sacrifices and hard work that small business owners put into their businesses are paying off. Despite a growing lack of confidence in the general economy and uncertain political climate, small business owners remain resilient. While 40 percent have a negative outlook for the economy in the year ahead (up from 35% in 2015), an overwhelming eight in ten have maintained a positive outlook on their own businesses over that same timeframe. In the near term, 91 percent expect their business’s profitability to either increase or stay the same,with more than half of small business owners saying their business is poised for significant expansion in the next year (52% vs. 47% in 2015).

Business financials over the past year show stability tilted towards growth across the small business sector, as seen in the 2016 Bank of the West Small Business Growth Index score of 55. In fact, seven out of 10 small businesses in this year’s survey fall into the Index’s growth category – reflecting a combination ofincreases in profitability or revenue, as well as investments back into their companies.

How to Succeed in Business

What does it take to run a successful venture?

Small business owners surveyed rated personal leadership qualities as more critical keys to success than business acumen. Passion for work (70%) and self-confidence (64%) top the list, above business skills such as a clear vision for the business’s future (49%) or tangible assets such as offering an innovative product or service (38%).

Perseverance and strong leadership can be the secret to pushing ahead of the pack. It’s not enough to just lean in—if you want to succeed, you’ve got to go all in.

About Michelle Di Gangi

Michelle Di Gangi is Executive Vice President of Small- and Mid-size Enterprise Banking at Bank of the West, where she oversees a team of professionals who provide expertise and guidance to small business owners across the country.Michelle has been with Bank of the West since 2008, and holds a BS in Psychology and MBA, both from UCLA. She also has a MsEd in special education from USC

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.

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