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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Insights Into the Mindsets and Moods of U.S. Microbusiness Owners

By Joe Daly, Senior Managing Consultant

Nearly one in three microbusiness owners depend on a second job for most of their income and 60% have used personal savings to finance their business. Despite often having to work two jobs and invest their own money, 69% of microbusiness owners say they have the ideal job.

These findings are from the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker, a new, nationally representative survey focusing on the smallest U.S. businesses -- those who employ fewer than five employees. The Microbusiness Tracker provides valuable insights into the moods and mindsets of microbusiness owners by highlighting the unique concerns and challenges faced by microbusinesses -- a key driver of economic growth -- along their path from startup to maturity.

“Sam’s Club has served microbusiness members for more than 30 years,” said Rosalind Brewer, President and CEO of Sam’s Club. “With the Microbusiness Tracker, we want to give a broader, national voice to microbusiness. We believe these vital community businesses and the challenges of these entrepreneurs aren’t always represented in the small business discourse.”

“Microbusinesses are often confused with small businesses, and it is important that not only owners themselves, but also policymakers, understand the unique challenges that microbusinesses are facing,” said Sangeeta Badal, Ph.D., Gallup’s lead researcher for entrepreneurship and job creation. Data from the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker will aid policy and decision-making at the national level and provides real, actionable insights for microbusiness owners,” added Badal. 

The Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker monitors the basic mood, preparedness, and state of mind of microbusiness proprietors. The Microbusiness Tracker taps into microbusiness owners’:

  • Readiness to meet the day-to-day challenges of being a business, their confidence in the future of their business, and their suitability for the job. For example, the Microbusiness Tracker finds that nearly one-third (30%) of older microbusinesses -- those more than three years old -- are experiencing flat revenue growth and are more likely to be letting employees go compared with newer microbusinesses.
  • Unique concerns and needs with regard to issues such as work/life balance, their financial situation, access to credit, and keeping up with changes in the industry. While the day-to-day management of their business dominates much of their time, microbusiness owners are more likely to say they want to spend more time serving customers (34%) than taking personal time off (25%) or planning for the company’s future (21%).
Additionally, Sam’s Club and Gallup will explore special topics of interest to microbusiness owners. Gallup will report on findings from the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker on a quarterly basis.

Read more about microbusiness owners’ unique concerns in the article, “Many U.S. Microbusiness Owners Depend on Second Job,” and sign up for Gallup News alerts to get the latest articles based on findings from the Sam’s Club/Gallup Microbusiness Tracker as soon as they are published.

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