SMB Series – U.S. Small Business Association Start-Up Stats

Throughout the month of November we will be running our “SMB blog series.” While SMB traditionally refers to “Small/Medium Business,” here at Volusion it has come to mean something else: “Small Made Big.” This month we will be sharing resources, tips, stats, and inspirations to help you turn your small ecommerce endeavor into something greater- something BIG!

SBA start-up stats

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)- Office of Advocacy released a working paper in August detailing some business start-up statistics:

  • 92% of start-ups are new independent businesses
  • 50% of start-ups are home-based and 40% rent or lease
  • 91% have fewer than 10 employees

So, in general it can be said that the average start-up is probably a home-based independent business with just a handful of employees. These statistics are reassuring for many small business owners who worry that their business won’t be taken seriously because they haven’t left home, or don’t have a large team of employees.


We’re all in the same boat

The reason so many other small business owners are in the same position as you is because that’s what works! When you’re first getting started it makes sense to start fresh (instead of trying to negotiate the legal waters of buying a business) and to use your home as a base of operations (rather than spending money you haven’t yet earned to get yourself a separate location for your business) and get by with as few personnel as possible to keep business operations running (in order to save money).


The importance of a co-captain

There was one surprising statistic that the SBA paper revealed: Businesses with multiple owners have a higher rate of growth than those with single owners. For many business owners this can be a hard statistic to stomach because they want to be in control of every aspect of their business, but look at the advantages of having a second business owner:

  1. Two business owners mean greater financial and intellectual assets
  2. You’ll have a top-level back-up to run the business if/when you’re unavailable
  3. You can be reassured that your business decisions have merit and aren’t being accepted solely because “you’re the boss”
  4. Most likely you will have two approaches and points of view when approaching issues so you can achieve the best outcomes in each scenario
  5. You will have someone who is able to fully understand what you go through on a daily basis

So while you want to make sure to minimize unnecessary costs that can sink your start-up, keep in mind that sharing the reins can actually lead to faster success!


Any dual business owners want to share their story? Post your comments below.

Happy selling!
-Kate Pierce, Volusion

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