Survey Results: The Joy and Pain of Small Business Ownership

Small Business OwnershipOwning, running and managing a small business is NOT easy. However, as GoDaddy shows in this survey below the JOYS are awesome.

GoDaddy’s press release on their survey was so self explanatory, I’ve just shared it with you here below. Scroll below to see the insightful infographic as well.

Starting a new business is no picnic, with sleepless nights and financial risk, but you can look forward to being happier and having a healthier lifestyle with more flexibility. The perks also include something every cube–farm resident has dreamed of: Working in your sweatpants or even pajamas and maybe even in bed, according to a survey of some of GoDaddy’s more than 12 million customers.

Heading into 2015, small business owners who participated in the study continue to demonstrate their economic resiliency as the vast majority are optimistic about their company’s prospects and are planning on strong future growth.

GoDaddy’s study, which was conducted by Zogby Analytics, included responses from 507 GoDaddy-powered small business owners. The surveyed entrepreneurs overwhelmingly reported owning their own business enables them to enjoy a happier, healthier and more empowered lifestyle than other workers.

Small business owners benefit from many less tangible aspects of entrepreneurship, including things like an unstructured workday that allows time for exercise, seeing family and friends, and yes, deciding what they wear and where they work.

“Nobody ever said starting a small business was easy. The only question was: is it worth it? And this research shows that our small business customers resoundingly say yes,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving.  “Our customers are working how they want, when they want, where they want. That translates not only into successful entrepreneurs, but happier and healthier people.”

Zogby Analytics’ survey found that these entrepreneurs create a work lifestyle that ultimately translates into happiness and a more optimistic outlook on their future. So much so that 83 percent of respondents reported they are happier than they were at their old job, 88 percent are more optimistic about their company’s prospects, and nearly 46 percent would like to see their business double in size.

The survey painted a convincing portrait of the rewards and level of freedom achieved by those taking the leap:

  • Flexibility: More than 6 in 10 (62 percent) owners report that their day is unstructured and they are capable of working around other activities. Only 36 percent report that their day is structured just like a regular office job.
  • Health: By a 7-to-1 ratio, these small business owners said they are likely to eat healthier. 51 percent said they eat healthier, while only 7 percent said they eat unhealthier (with 40 percent reporting no difference).
  • 53 percent of GoDaddy-powered small business owners reported that they are able to combine exercise with their regular workday.
  • Upbeat: A huge majority – 83 percent – report being happier than they were prior to opening their GoDaddy-powered small business. And that includes 56 percent who said they are “very happy.” Less than 4 percent of respondents said they were less happy.

Beyond lifestyle changes, the survey gives a snapshot of 21st century entrepreneurism:

  • A majority (53 percent) generate $150,000 or less in annual revenues and the vast majority (72 percent) have 5 or less workers.
  • A majority (51 percent) say they work at home, but oftentimes in an office set aside for them, as opposed to at a kitchen table (12 percent), out of a car (6 percent) or propped up in bed (less than one percent).
  • The vast majority started a business the old-fashioned way: they emptied their bank accounts or loaded up on credit card to get off the ground. Two-thirds financed their business this way. Others resorted to bank loans (9 percent) or help from family and friends (7 percent).
  • 1 in 4 of these GoDaddy-powered small businesses were launched in the last 3 years. And given the high failure rate of small businesses (the SBA reports more than half will close within 5 years), these small businesses have a track record. According to the Zogby Analytics research, more than half (53 percent) have been open for business for more than 7 years.
  • American businesses are varied, and so are the businesses started by our customers. Professional services is by far the most popular (43 percent), followed by consulting (14 percent), retail (11 percent), manufacturing (5 percent) and a myriad of other ventures, such as real estate, music publishing and instruction, radio broadcasting, arts, packaging, travel services and selling organic vegetables (all of which were among the over 100 responses that small business owners reported).

These businesses are grappling with the challenges and opportunities that digital media pose, but still heavily rely on their websites for their success:


  • These business owners still overwhelmingly believe in the power of a domain name. Among these respondents, 83 percent said it’s important to have a personalized website, with a majority calling it “very important.”
  • They believe they need a hybrid of domain names and social media to be successful. Only 4 percent said that they only need social networks. 28 percent said their own website was sufficient, while 58 percent said it’s important to both control their own website and utilize social media to amplify their marketing.
  • An online presence makes a critical difference to these owners. By a 2-to-1 margin, they report that adding an online presence improved sales. 41 percent reported an improvement, with 20 percent saying it did not (and the rest saying they always had an online presence).

“This GoDaddy research provides a window into what makes a small business, especially a very small business, successful in the 21st Century,” said pollster John Zogby. “What is clear is that by embarking on an entrepreneurial career, these small businesses see the world differently. They have seized control over their business life and found a new work / life balance that couldn’t exist before.”

Zogby Analytics was commissioned by GoDaddy to survey their small business owners. It surveyed more than 500 small business owners during July and August, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Click here to see the original blog post and infographic

Joys of Small Business Ownership


About Ramon Ray

Ramon Ray, Marketing & Technology Evangelist, & Infusionsoft. Full bio at . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook