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10 Small Business Statistics and What They Mean

At Sagely, we believe that small businesses are the future, and we're not alone. Small businesses make up an increasingly large part of the world's businesses. For Small Business Saturday, we’ve put together a list of 10 small business statistics from the last few years that reflect the current climate and what the future holds.


If you’re a small business owner some of these stats will likely come as no surprise — but some might shock you. Let’s dive in.


1. Small businesses account for 99.9% of all US businesses


That’s right — there are 32.5 million small businesses in the US, and they account for a staggeringly high percentage of all businesses. In fact, statistically speaking, almost no businesses have more than a handful of employees. It may be a cliché to say that small businesses are the backbone of our society, but it’s certainly not inaccurate.


2. Small businesses create 1.5 million jobs every year


Even though small businesses individually employ far fewer people than their bigger cousins, they collectively account for most of the new jobs in the US — 64%. In addition to keeping our society running, small businesses also keep people employed.


3. Small business owners were hit hard by COVID-19


67.8% of small business owners in the US were negatively affected by the pandemic. COVID impacted everyone, but it seems that small business owners were especially hard-hit. There are many reasons for this, like smaller businesses having fewer financial resources to fall back on and many small businesses relying on face-to-face contact.


4. Many small businesses turned to digitization to survive the pandemic


While the pandemic hit small businesses hard, many of them — 71% in fact — survived it in much the same way as larger companies — by turning to digitalization. Businesses that were able to bring their services online and make money remotely stood a much better chance during lockdowns. Even as the pandemic recedes, small businesses can gain a lot by embracing digital strategies.

5. Small business owners take care of their own marketing


47% of small business owners handle their marketing independently. This is, in some ways, a good thing — it shows that small business owners are resourceful, independent, and driven. However, many business owners could benefit from working more closely with marketing experts to reach their goals more effectively and free up their workload.


6. Side businesses are the domain of the young


Millennials and Gen Z are 188% more likely to want to create a side business, compared to their older counterparts. The goal of making extra money on the side, often through digital means, seems to be mainly shared by younger people, signaling a trend for the future.


7. 35% of small businesses survive ten years or more


And 82% make it through the first year. It’s interesting to note that small business owners have a 1 in 3 chance of surviving a decade — showing that the world of small business perhaps isn’t as hostile as many people seem to believe. With the right tools, strategies, and support, you can boost your chances even more.


8. Most small business owners advertise on social media


55% of small businesses say they advertise on social media. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn are crucial tools for small business owners and make it much easier to connect with clients, customers, and people in your local area.


9. Small business owners are motivated by being their own boss


66% of small business owners in a survey by Cox Business said they were driven by the desire to be their own boss. This spirit of independence and autonomy is a common thread in business owners, but it’s also worth remembering that you can achieve much more by building a network of specialists and experts around you.

10. Many small businesses fail due to a lack of market demand


42% of businesses fail for this reason. This stat is interesting because market demand is something you can establish upfront — it shows that investing in the right market research and preparation could avoid a lot of small business failures.


Don’t go it alone

As these stats show, running a small business can be an incredibly rewarding but also challenging experience. Working with a team of specialized experts can make the process much easier, boosting your chances of success.


At Sagely, we connect small business owners with experts in fields like marketing, product management, sales, law, and more, helping small businesses tap into the expertise and talent of a much larger ecosystem.


Visit our homepage to find out more.


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