Two Thirds of Americans Dream of Opening a Small Business

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The FINANCIAL — The UPS Store, Inc. released the findings of their first annual “Inside Small Business Survey” on April 30, which found that 66 percent of respondents dream of opening a small business.

Part of The UPS Store annual initiative to celebrate National Small Business Month, Small Biz Salute, The UPS Store “Inside Small Business Survey” captures sentiments of Americans and their feelings toward both starting and shopping at small businesses. Throughout the month of May, participating The UPS Store locations across the country will be celebrating Small Biz Salute with local events geared specifically to honor and recognize small businesses and entrepreneurs right in their communities.

Of respondents who hope to open a small business, top motivators include being their own boss (38 percent), followed by believing in the power of their own idea (17 percent) and creating their next career path (15 percent). Sentiment of starting a small business in 2018 is high, with nearly half of all respondents saying they’d be optimistic about opening a small business this year.

“Don’t be fooled, the American Dream of owning your own business is still very much real, especially when compared to the rest of the developed world,” said Dr. Luke Pittaway, Ohio University College of Business Copeland Professor of Entrepreneurship. “How Americans are choosing to open small businesses is where we’re seeing the largest shift. Consumer habits are changing, forcing Americans to consider how they open small businesses in 2018– whether it’s focusing more on e-commerce than actual store fronts, or focusing on selling to a local community or region instead of a broader national audience.”

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According to The UPS Store “Inside Small Business Survey”, Americans’ top fears in opening a small business are financial security (45 percent), the financial commitment required to open the business (39 percent) and the fear of failure (37 percent). The number one expense respondents associated with operating a small business was the price of supplies and equipment (72 percent), followed by basic operating costs (69 percent) and the creation of an advertising/marketing budget (65 percent). Meanwhile, 40 percent of respondents said they associate shipping expenses with operating a small business.

“At The UPS Store, we understand the challenges of small business owners and offer products and services designed specifically to help and support them,” said Tim Davis, president of The UPS Store, Inc. “Small business owners are unparalleled in their passion for their business, and understanding that aspiration is critical for us. We want to celebrate that enthusiasm with the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off contest, where one lucky winner will walk away with $25,000 to help them grow their business.”

Three out of four Gen Xers, more so than Millennials or Baby Boomers, said they dream of starting a small business and more than half are optimistic about opening a small business in 2018. The types of business Gen Xers want to open include businesses that offer technology solutions (29 percent), food/restaurant services (22 percent) and product/consumer goods (21 percent). Men responded they are slightly more optimistic about opening a small business in 2018 than women (47 percent compared to 43 percent). Americans overwhelmingly responded in 2018 they would operate a small business as a home-based business (56 percent), followed by brick-and-mortar (30 percent) and then an e-commerce business (20 percent).

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“It should come as no surprise that Gen Xers are the generation that feel the most optimistic and most willing to branch out and start their own small business,” said Dr. Pittaway. “This portion of the workforce is most likely well established in their career, financially equipped and starting to think about how they’ll spend the final stages of their career. In many cases, even when Gen Xers and Boomers reach retirement age, instead of grabbing their golf clubs or boarding a cruise ship, they’ll be looking for their next professional act. More and more we’re seeing that later career stages and retirement is the time professionals open a small business, and for many it’s the first time.”

To support small business owners, The UPS Store together with Inc. Magazine, invite entrepreneurs andsmall business owners from across the country to enter the Small Biz Salute Pitch Off, a contest that will reward one small business owner with $25,000 and an editorial feature in Inc. Magazine. To enter the contest, eligible owners and entrepreneurs of qualifying small businesses need to submit an entry sharing how $25,000 would help them grow their business.


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