Small-Business Survey: Would You Do It All Over Again?

Although small business owners are going through perhaps the toughest time of their careers, 87 percent of them show no regrets and would start their businesses over again if they had to, according to proprietary survey data released by PayCycle Inc. Only 10 percent were "unsure" if they would start their businesses again, and just 3 percent said they would not start their businesses again. Over two-thirds (67 percent) of the respondents started their businesses because they wanted the freedom to work for themselves.

"It is truly inspirational that even in this tough economy these small-business owners, from across the U.S., still say they would do it all over again. This is a testimony to the core strength of those who drive our small businesses," said Jim Heeger, president and CEO of PayCycle Inc.

Two-thirds of the respondents (67 percent) cited "the freedom to work for myself" as the reason for starting their own business. Six percent started their businesses due to a layoff, 5 percent were continuing a family business and the rest (22 percent) cited a variety of additional reasons. Some of these reasons included: wanting to be more available to family, the desire to work with a non-profit and running a side business to supplement income.

The survey also asked small-business owners to cite the biggest challenge they faced when starting their business. Twenty-nine per cent (29 percent) cited "finding good employees," suggesting top employees might have greater job security than they realize. In addition, 26 percent cited "dealing with legal and accounting issues," 21 percent cited "finding customers" and 16 percent cited "finding funding" as the biggest challenge faced when starting their businesses.

The survey, conducted between January 27 and February 2, 2009, compiled responses from 478 small businesses randomly selected from PayCycle's broad, national base of over 75,000 small business customers.

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