“Personal achievement” or “fulfilling a lifelong dream” easily outranks “financial stability” as the driver of business owners’ success, a joint survey revealed. In connection with Dell’s The Power To Do More campaign celebrating the humble beginnings of great businesses, the two companies polled more than 3,000 members of Manta’s online small business community last month.
The poll, which asked entrepreneurs about motivations, milestones, and memories around starting their businesses, found that just about half were at their last job when they decided to start their own business. More than 1 in 6 were at their own kitchen table when inspiration struck.
What business owners consider their key milestones reveals more what drives them: Winning their first repeat customer was the biggest for 36 percent of owners; marking their first profitable year was biggest for just 14 percent.
Winning and giving recognition is important for small business owners. Nearly one-third report that their proudest business moment was the first time their company received an award. And 15 percent say the first time they were able to hand out bonuses or the first time they hosted a company celebration were their proudest.
Over half of small business owners recall that their first technology investment was a desktop or laptop computer and 54 percent consider the launch of their business website to have been their most significant technology milestone. As for the future, 41 percent say they believe new social media platforms will have the biggest impact on their business, and 32 percent believe mobile technology will. Only 4 percent think technology like Google Glass will support their business needs.
One clear measure that business owners have few regrets: Three-quarters of them claim they are dedicated to expanding or maintaining their business. And, asked if they’d start another business, only 14 percent said “no.”