A Portrait of How U.S. Small Businesses Get Started
At their outset, most United States small businesses 
start with $10,000 or less in capital, primarily 
funded from the fo...
From Survive to Thrive 
Setting Up Your Company for Success 
The prospect of investing $10,000 is incredibly 
empowering. ...
Money Matters 
Planning for a Prosperous Future 
Don’t let financial anxieties plague your company’s well-being. 
Heed the...
Other funding sources: 
General opinion is split on whether it’s 
currently easier to secure small-business 
financing tha...
Starting Strong: 
Enduring the Early Years 
Consensus among small-business owners is 
that the first year in business is t...
Health, Wealth, and Wisdom 
Seeking sound advice in the business realm 
When asked what they’d do differently if given the...
Shape Up and Help Yourself 
Taking initiative to improve your company’s 
potential 
One of the easiest ways small-business...
Equipped for the Future 
Using the tools at your disposal 
Taking initiative to improve your company’s potential 
One of t...
Quickbooks Online by 
the Numbers 
In the last year alone: 
81 million 
invoices created 
29 million 
vendor relationships...
Your Company Health, 
In Your Hands 
Simply put 
Small-business owners aren’t taking advantage of the tools 
at their disp...
Exercise Smart 
Business Practices 
Know Your Industry 
It’s crucial for small-business 
owners to understand the 
inner-w...
quickbooks.intuit.com
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Survey: A Portrait of How U.S. Small Businesses Get Started

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At Intuit, our mission is to enable more small business to succeed. That’s why we decided to look more closely at the root causes of low survival rates among small businesses. We conducted a nation-wide survey that provides a snapshot of how small businesses get started, and some of the common risks that pop up in the early years.

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Survey: A Portrait of How U.S. Small Businesses Get Started

  1. 1. A Portrait of How U.S. Small Businesses Get Started
  2. 2. At their outset, most United States small businesses start with $10,000 or less in capital, primarily funded from the founder’s personal savings. Humble as their beginnings may be, eventually robust results can be achieved. Delivering 60% of net new jobs since the end of the recession in mid-2013, small businesses have revitalized U.S. economic recovery. Yet sustaining and growing a small-scale company remains risky business. The fact of the matter is: Maintaining a healthy small business is incredibly difficult, requiring mindfulness, hard work, and dedication. And as your company grows, it requires facing down myriad challenges as they arise—from a growing customer base, to recruiting and managing employees, to maintaining cash flow. Intuit’s committed to helping America’s small-business owners overcome these challenges. Together, we can transform that $10,000 initial investment into successful business, new jobs, and a thriving economy. 2 Starting out
  3. 3. From Survive to Thrive Setting Up Your Company for Success The prospect of investing $10,000 is incredibly empowering. It is, after all, a relatively small amount of money, which means starting a business is within anyone’s grasp. But just how likely are that startup’s odds for long-term success? According to the Small Business Administration’s latest statistics: Only half of all new small businesses will survive past 5 years. Only one-third will survive 10 years. $ That’s too many failed businesses. Too many great ideas gone too soon. Too many good American jobs lost. 3
  4. 4. Money Matters Planning for a Prosperous Future Don’t let financial anxieties plague your company’s well-being. Heed the advice of the many who’ve come before you, as hundreds of small-business owners weigh in on their experiences in the startup journey. 64% of small businesses begin operations on $10,000 or less. Shaking the uneasy feelings often associated with starting a business can be difficult. There’s no magic number to hit to feel comfortable in your company’s prosperity. Cost to start a small business in America: Annual revenue needed to feel confident in your business’ long-term health: 64% $10,000 or less 12% $10,000-$20,000 11% $20,000–$50,000 13% $50,000+ 4 35% At least $30,000 22% $30,000–$50,000 21% $50,000–$100,000 22% $100,000+
  5. 5. Other funding sources: General opinion is split on whether it’s currently easier to secure small-business financing than it was during the recession: 49% No change 51% Securing financing is easier So, where does most startup money come from? 3/4 of small-business owners use their own personal savings. 11% Financial institution: 10% Family or friends 2% Investors 1% Government grants or funding programs 5
  6. 6. Starting Strong: Enduring the Early Years Consensus among small-business owners is that the first year in business is the toughest. When searching for a lifeline to sustain their well-being during that first year, many small business owners seek external guidance from various sources. 38% Online searches 23% Friends who own small businesses 17% Formal education 12% The Small Business Administration 46% It’s the most difficult year: 22% It’s more difficult than most years 19% It’s about the same as other years 8% It’s not as difficult as other years 4% It’s the easiest year icon 6
  7. 7. Health, Wealth, and Wisdom Seeking sound advice in the business realm When asked what they’d do differently if given the chance when starting out, small-business owners share some common regrets. 67% Write a better business plan 65% Spend more time and money on marketing 49% Find a mentor 29% Hire an accountant 7 $ Nearly 2/3 of small-business owners (68%) recommend spending more time and energy on mastering financial management.
  8. 8. Shape Up and Help Yourself Taking initiative to improve your company’s potential One of the easiest ways small-business owners can increase their performance is to take advantage of available financial management tools and resources. 1 3 Invest in new money-management methods: Seek professional help. Improve your financial management in as easy as 1-2-3: 56% use outdated tools, like spreadsheets or pen and paper 41% use financial management software 2 Separate your finances. Twenty-nine percent of small-business owners use the same bank account for personal and business transactions. Forty-two percent actively work with accountants for advice and business financial-management support. $ $ 8
  9. 9. Equipped for the Future Using the tools at your disposal Taking initiative to improve your company’s potential One of the easiest ways small-business owners can increase their performance is to take advantage of available financial management tools and resources. The QuickBooks Online platform delivers: A powerfully simple solution that enables small-business owners to tackle complex business management tasks without having to be experts. An open, integrated platform with best-in-class payroll and payments solutions, as well as the world’s largest selection of third-party apps specifically designed for small businesses. A connection between businesses, customers, and business partners that lets company owners access their business information anytime, anywhere on the device of their choice. 9
  10. 10. Quickbooks Online by the Numbers In the last year alone: 81 million invoices created 29 million vendor relationships established 1 million+ new employees managed $1 trillion+ global commerce received $ $ $ $ $ 9 Served 24 million new customers 10
  11. 11. Your Company Health, In Your Hands Simply put Small-business owners aren’t taking advantage of the tools at their disposal—things like financial management software or accounting personnel’s expert advice. At Intuit, we’re committed to tackling that challenge together, providing tools to make it easier than ever for small-business owners to maintain their financial health. Working together, we’re confident that more $10,000 investments can mature into successful small businesses. Starting a small business can be monumentally empowering— and it’s within your grasp. It’s about developing an idea, seizing the potential, and utilizing uncompromising drive to get the job done—even on a mere $10,000 to start. But keep aware of common pitfalls and challenges. When the odds of long-term success are against you, every penny counts. One misstep, one bad investment, one oversight can drastically reduce those odds. Inadequate financial management expertise remains one of the single greatest reasons that only half of small businesses make it to the infamous 5-year mark. 11
  12. 12. Exercise Smart Business Practices Know Your Industry It’s crucial for small-business owners to understand the inner-workings of their businesses: • Who are your best customers? • Which supplier has the best service and support? • What can you learn from your competitors? Cozy Up to Your Bank • Financial institutions may provide a better level of assistance to people who demonstrate that they know their businesses inside and out. • Software offerings, such as QuickBooks Online, provide small-business owners a deeper understanding of their business, which improves your confidence and leads to smarter decision-making. Cash Flow is King • Utilizing tools like QuickBooks Online can enable small-business owners to see exactly where their money is traveling. • As small-business owners better understand their cash flows, the more likely they are to succeed. 12
  13. 13. quickbooks.intuit.com
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