81 Percent Of Small Business Owners Say Entrepreneurship Makes Them Happy

Are Entrepreneurs Happy?

If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you are probably happy to be one, a new study indicates.

Are Entrepreneurs Happy?

According to the 2017 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, the answer is, “Yes”. In fact, 81 percent of business owners say their happiness is due somewhat or entirely to being an entrepreneur. What’s more, 94 percent of entrepreneurs say they are happy with their lives.

Optimism High Among Business Owners

It’s probably because of their optimism that business owners are feeling more secure about their future. The study shows fewer entrepreneurs are worried about their ability to save for retirement (45 percent, down from 53 percent in 2016).

On average, entrepreneurs believe they will need 1,182,000, up slightly from the $1,170,000 they thought they needed last year.

Small Businesses Have Big Plans

“In this economy, there’s a clear correlation between business owner optimism and plans for growth,” says Susan Sobbott, President, Global Commercial Payments, American Express (NYSE:AXP).

Data supports her assertion as it’s revealed entrepreneurs are planning to increase capital investments, hire staff and increase usage of low cost methods like social media to attract new customers.

Hiring is High on Agenda, But Remains a Challenge

In specific numbers, 74 percent say they need to hire to handle their growing business or to help increase business volume (72 percent).

To meet their staffing needs, the greatest number of small businesses (17 percent) will hire a combination of full and part time employees. Sixteen percent say they will hire only part timers while 12 percent will hire only full timers.

Finding the right people, however, continues to be the biggest challenge (26 percent, up from 19 percent last year) for businesses.

The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, conducted since 2002, is based on a nationally representative sample of 700 U.S. small business owners/managers of companies with fewer than 100 employees. The anonymous survey was conducted via telephone by Ebiquity between March 29 and April 21, 2017.

Happy Business People Photo via Shutterstock 8 Comments ▼

Shubhomita Bose Shubhomita Bose is a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends. She covers key studies and surveys about the small business market, along with general small business news. She draws on 8 years of experience in copywriting, marketing and communications, having worked extensively on creating content for small and medium sized enterprises.

8 Reactions
  1. Tell that to me, the challenge of finding the right people. I think that will be one of the biggest challenges, as small businesses don’t have the big buget for the best, but still that doesn’t mean that a high salary offer will attract the right one. But talking about happier stuff, I think that all the things that an entrepreneur has to deal with, are what it makes him to be always thinking in how to solve problems.

    • It’s a red flag if someone only wants to work for the biggest paycheck. As an entrepreneur, I’d go for someone who has fire in their belly and loves to solve problems.

      • Thanks for your comments. As someone who works quite closely with small business owners, I have experienced that most entrepreneurs are open to new ideas, which is great from a communications perspective. The trouble is, in my opinion, some entrepreneurs’ tendency to go for a one-size-fits-all solution. I enjoy working with business owners who see the value in creating more focused marketing communication and not doing things just for the heck of it.

  2. There is something about doing what you love and running a project that changes the world. That’s how entrepreneurship makes me feel.

  3. Yes. They are really happy. There is something liberating about having a dream bigger than yourself and working towards it.

  4. Happiness is hard to determine. Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It requires hard work. Sure, it can make you happy but it can also frustrate you.

  5. Hi Shubhomita,

    It’s true that the small business has big plans. Entrepreneurship is not your daily cup of coffee, it requires hard work and you have to be mentally strong.

    I have seen many Entrepreneurs fall down to their knees because they did not have enough courage to pour in money and time and end up looking for a job.

    It’s frustrating but once you face all obstacles then you feel like a BIRD. Those who have been in that position can handle a similar situation like bread and butter.


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