Despite statistics showing a rather high failure rate for small businesses, a recent survey of 1,000 small business owners shows that the vast majority of them are confident in their endeavours and say they’d rather embrace potential failure than never try at all.
Deluxe Corp, a company that helps small businesses with marketing, commissioned an online survey of about 1,000 small business owners (not Deluxe clients) in March. The survey found:
- 86% of the respondents believe they can do anything they set their minds to
- 77% say they would rather learn from failure than never try
- 89% describe themselves as leaders and 54% say they don’t want a boss
Quotes from small business owners further illustrate this point. Tim Carroll, Deluxe’s vice president of small business engagement, provided us with these from Deluxe research:
- “I worry that changes in legislation will hurt or kill my business, but that’s better than worrying about being fired.”
- “We’ve made so many mistakes, and we’ve learned from all of them.”
- “I enjoy taking risks. I’m adventurous, I pursue a life of challenge.”
Small business failure rates vary depending on where the statistics are coming from, but Carroll said that generally 50 to 70 per cent fail within the first 18 months.
But Carroll said small business owners are generally confident people who think they’re in control of their future.
“They’re very aware of the risks they’re stepping into,” Carroll said. “They’re supremely confident despite knowing the risks.”
Katherine Laurienti, who owns Paisano Sausage Co. and North Denver Sausage Co., gave us her perspective on the mindset of small business owners.
“I think all of us think we can do it better than the next guy,” she said. “There’s definitely ego involved in owning your own business. You think your way is the best way.”
Still, small businesses were hit harder during the recession than larger companies. More than 200,000 small businesses closed between 2008 and 2010, and 3 million jobs disappeared, according to U.S. Census figures.
Confidence about a recovery seems to be on the rise. The National Federation for Independent Business’ Index of Small Business Optimism rose in April as small business owners became more confident that the economy would improve.
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