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State of Small Business – Growth and Success Report

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In an effort to better understand how small businesses approach growth and how those views impact their operations and planning, Intuit QuickBooks released the “State of Small Business – Growth and Success” report.

Check out the results to learn more!

Working for yourself shouldn’t mean the odds of success are stacked against you. QuickBooks is committed to small business success with a comprehensive set of business tools that do the hard work for you – leveraging the latest in AI and emerging technologies to create a platform that evens the odds for small business owners.

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State of Small Business – Growth and Success Report

  1. 1. State of Small Business Growth and Success Growing a small business is both scary and exciting. For many small business owners, it is a key measure of success. Yet taking on the risks and complexities of growing a small business comes at a cost many owners do not account for in their strategic plan. To better understand how small businesses approach growth and how that impacts their operations and planning, Intuit conducted a study with Wakefield Research, surveying 1,000 U.S. small business owners at companies of 0-100 employees.
  2. 2. The State of Small Business Growth Excitement and Fear • More than half (54%) of small business owners sometimes feel more fear than excitement when they think about growing their business. • With less experience to lean on, Millennials (65%) are even more likely than Gen Xers (52%) and Boomers (44%) to feel more fear than excitement. Fear of failure is pervasive. 68% of small business owners worry about their business potentially failing. • Newer business owners are particularly on edge. Those who have been operating 5 years or less (33%) worry about their business potentially failing a few times a week or more, compared to those in business 6 to 10 years old (20%). • Among those with potential failure on their minds, small business owners cite frustration (55%), sadness (28%) and shame (12%) as dominating emotions when they think about failure. (54%) FearExcitment
  3. 3. • Despite the anxiety, 88% of small business owners are confident their business will grow consistently in both revenue and profit over the next 5 years. • Newer owners are by far the most optimistic. 73% of those in business for 5 years or less are at minimum very confident their business will consistently increase revenue over 5 years, compared to 64% of those in operation 6 to 10 years. • Yet small business owners may set themselves up for disappointment by narrowly defining success. To more than half (51%) of small business owners, failing to grow their business year-over-year means their business is failing as a whole. • More-established companies take a broader view. 58% of small business owners who have been operating 11 years or more disagree that failing to grow year-over year means their business is failing as a whole. The State of Small Business Growth A Bullish Outlook and a High Bar for Success
  4. 4. • Fully understanding the cash flow of the business is essential yet financial health metrics elude small business owners. Nearly half (47%) are only somewhat confident or less than somewhat confident that they know their business’ exact year-to-date revenue. A third (33%) are not fully confident they understand all the details of their business’ financial health. • Yet nearly half (46%) of small business owners admit they have never sought out professional advice on how to better run their business. Nearly half (46%) cite cost as the most common barrier to reaching out to professional experts, but the ego plays a big role, too. • Difficulty trusting outside experts (38%) is a common barrier cited, and nearly 1 in 5 (17%) do not want to appear as if they don’t have the skills to run their business. Nearly three in four (72%) first sought advice from family and friends before going to an expert or professional. • As businesses grow, owners are much more likely to reach out. More than half (56%) of small businesses with revenue of under $250,000 have never sought professional advice, compared to just 35% of those with $250,000-$750,000 in revenue and one-third with revenue of $750,000 or more. The Intuit QuickBooks Growth Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 1,000 U.S. small business owners at companies of 0-100 employees, between September 18th and October 2nd, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey. The State of Small Business Growth Going it Alone

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