Growing Your Business

Growing Your Business

Key Takeaways

  • More than 4 in 5 entrepreneurs have a long-term goal for their business, but fewer than 1 in 5 have a detailed plan to achieve it.
  • 4 in 5 entrepreneurs need capital to make the next important step with their business, but only 1 in 4 have that capital on hand.
  • Approximately half of entrepreneurs need only $5,000 or less to fund the next important step for their business.
  • Almost half of entrepreneurs say something finance-related is hindering the growth of their business.

The Twists and Turns of the Entrepreneurial Lifestyle

It takes a certain type of person to be an entrepreneur, and it takes someone even more special to be a successful one. To learn more about the entrepreneurial mindset, we’ve surveyed 356 small-business owners about what growth means to them. They’ve been asked about their long-term goals and what they would need to achieve them.

As the effects of the pandemic still ripple through America, we’ll also take a closer look at how our respondents have been affected by it and what it means for their business. Read on to learn more about the life of entrepreneurs – spoiler alert: It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Thinking Ahead

Goals are what drive someone to push forward, and in this case, entrepreneurs need to keep them in mind as motivation to work toward something. How big, though, are they dreaming?

Business goals

Most surveyed business owners had plans for their future – 84% said they’ve established a long-term goal for their business, compared to the rest who hadn’t thought that far ahead just yet. There’s some confidence among the bunch, too, as 46% believed they’re likely to achieve their goal, compared to only 3% who had no confidence in their journey.

The average respondent dreamed big – they hoped to grow their business 32-fold and expect that to take no more than 4.5 years. A total value just north of $4.5 million, about $380,000 in revenue, and 12 employees was the average growth business owners wanted in each regard. Seeing as over 86% of small-business owners make less than $100,000 per year, respondents might need to reconsider their expectations.

Eyes on the Prize

It’s one thing to want to succeed, but it’s another to have an exact idea of what you want to achieve. Ambiguity can kill motivation, so what exactly do our respondents strive for?

Getting at your goals

Taking a closer look at their long-term goals, nearly two-thirds of entrepreneurs would love to get to a point where they could afford to pay themselves a personal income. More than half would also love to one day reach financial independence and to start generating business revenue. If a small business were to survive a full decade, it would only be one among the 30% that had stuck around that long. Seeing as the failure rate is so high, just being able to turn a profit is a major win for entrepreneurs across the country.

When strategizing for their long-term goals, almost half of respondents had a general idea of how they would achieve them, but only 17% had every angle covered. Seeing as entrepreneurs felt their lack of time and energy were the main factors that hindered their business, maybe more of each would allow them to devise concrete, detailed plans to reach their goals. If only …

Wanted: Money

Time and energy are critical to growing a business, but you’ll get nowhere without capital. Let’s discuss the relationship entrepreneurs have with the money they need to succeed.

Making your move

To reach their ultimate goal, most entrepreneurs said their next step was either related to marketing and customer acquisition or finance/growth capital. Again, most respondents were confident in themselves – 65% felt great about making their way toward the end game.

Unsurprisingly, 80% of them needed capital to fund their next move, and entrepreneurs reported needing an average $29,297 to take that upcoming big step. Many entrepreneurs, however, said they could make it with far less, with nearly half of our respondents requiring $5,000 at most. Sixty-five percent of entrepreneurs said they did not currently have the money they needed on hand. That being said, a lot more people had options to raise capital, and almost half had access to at least some but not as much as they would’ve liked. Applying for a small-business loan could pique the interest of entrepreneurs due to their convenience and low interest rates (for businesses with a good credit score, of course).

Ebbs and Flows

The pandemic turned the world on its head. Small-business owners deal with enough headaches as it is, so how have they managed over the past year?

Headwinds and hinderances

Luckily for these entrepreneurs, a decline in their business was much less common than no change or even growth. Heading into 2021’s fourth quarter, 38% of small businesses are projecting growth, which is the highest amount it’s been since even before the start of 2020.

Once again, though, many entrepreneurs simply didn’t have enough hours in the day to grow their business as fast as they’d like to. The pandemic has been a thorn in the side of a lot of small businesses, too. Some of its major consequences include increased uncertainty for entrepreneurs, stalled growth, and lower sales. It’s safe to say that small-business owners can’t wait until the pandemic is over, once and for all.

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

Confidence is key as an entrepreneur. Without a vision, you’re unlikely to succeed, which is why 84% of respondents said they have a long-term goal for their business, and almost every other small-business owner was confident in their ability to reach it.

Entrepreneurs said their lack of time and energy were major reasons why their growth isn’t as strong as they’d like it to be, but getting the necessary funds to prop themselves up was a priority, too. Thankfully, Clarify Capital is a dream come true for small businesses. They offer instant, low rate business loans so that your long-term goals can become short-term ones. Head over now to get back to what you love doing, with the help of people that truly want to see you succeed.

Methodology and Limitations

For this study, we surveyed 356 entrepreneurs and small-business owners in the U.S. Among those respondents, 278 were earning consistent monthly revenue through their business, 272 were making a profit with their business, and 192 were drawing a salary or other compensation from their business. Our average respondent’s business was generating $2,750 in monthly revenue and $1,528 in monthly profit.

Respondents ranged in age from 18 to 79 with an average age of 35. Among our respondents, 223 were women, 127 were men, and six were nonbinary.

To help ensure accurate responses, respondents were required to identify and answer a decoyed attention-check question. In some cases, questions and answers have been paraphrased for clarity. These data rely on self-reporting, and potential issues with self-reported data include, but are not limited to, telescoping, selective memory, and other attribution errors.

Fair Use Statement

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