To succeed in any business, it takes hard work, dedication, and a passion for all that you do. It takes time, effort, and the proper foundation to build success upon. 

It is important that you set goals for your small business and navigate the best way to achieve them. Develop a way to market your business, create brand awareness and gain a steady flow of customers, then begin to accomplish the goals you have set. Use strategic marketing techniques to set your business apart from others and begin to find the pathway to success.

There are many tools to help you succeed in 2021, but by looking at data and analyzing small business statistics, you can learn new things and understand what can help to improve your business over time. You can utilize new strategies to achieve success and build a strong foundation for your business to stand on, improve, and reach goals consistently. 

Small business statistics

Here are some valuable and powerful small business statistics you can explore to help shape the way you build your path towards success for your business in 2021. 

The American small business market is booming

1.).There are 30.7 million small businesses in the United States. (SBA

2.) 99.9% of United States businesses are small businesses (SBA)

3.)  A small business is an independent business with fewer than 500 employees. (SBA)

4.) 50% of small businesses have between 1 and 5 employees. (NSBA)

5.) 59.9 million people are employed by small businesses. (NAV)

6.) More than 50% of Americans either own or work for a small business (Forbes)

7.) In the United States, it takes an average of 4 days to start a business. (WorldBank)

8.) A healthy small business will grow 2%-3% every year, or if overachieving 7%-8% every year. (NAV)

9.) In 2018, 91% of survey respondents said they shopped at local small businesses once a week. (Statista)

10.) In 2018. 61% of survey respondents stated they shopped at local small businesses because of the convenience. (Statista)

11.) 77% of customers patronize independently owned bakeries, restaurants, bars, and pubs. Clothing, accessory, and shoe stores are next at 40%, while bookstores at 32% and gift, novelty, and souvenir stores at 30%. (Score)

12.) 97% of consumers said Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their communities, and 80% said they were planning to shop at independently-owned retailers or restaurants on that day. (Score

Business statistics show that jobs are growing with small businesses 

13.) Small businesses account for 44% of U.S. economic activity. (SBA)

14.) The 2019 small business profiles showed that small businesses added 1.8 million net new jobs in the United States. (SBA)

15.) Small businesses employ 47.3% of the private workforce in the United States. (SBA)

16.) Small businesses have generated over 65% of the net new jobs since 1995. (Forbes)

17.) Small businesses in the United States had a growth rate of 15.7% in 2019. (BBB)

18.) In February 2019, the unemployment rate was down, 3.8% from 4.1% in 2018. (SBA

19.) In November 2019, the unemployment rate reached a historic low of 3.5%. (GuidantFinancial)

20.) In March 2020, there were 804,398 businesses that were less than 1 year old, an increase on the March 2019 figure of 770,609. (Statista)

21.) Business applications for January of 2021, adjusted for seasonal variation, were 492,133, an increase of 42.6 percent compared to December of 2020. (Census)

22.) 14% of small businesses were food and restaurant businesses, making this one of the most popular industries for small businesses. Retail stores, including eCommerce businesses, made up 12% of the responses, as did business services. Health, beauty, and fitness services were the next most popular industry, at 10% of responses. The top five most popular industries were rounded out with finance, insurance, and law at 6% of small businesses Surveyed. (Guidantfinancial)

Minority-owned small businesses in America

23.) There are now more than 4 million minority-owned businesses in the U.S. (NAV)

24.) There are 8.7 million minority-owned business employees. (SBA)

25.) In 2016, the industries with the largest number of workers employed by minority-owned small businesses were accommodation and food services with 2.4 million employees, health care and social assistance with 1.4 million employees, and retail trade with 863,000 employees. (SBA)

26.) 20% of all U.S. businesses are owned by people of color. (Brookings)

27.) The top reasons that POC entrepreneurs started their small business were readiness to be their own boss (28%), pursue their own passion (19%), and dissatisfaction with corporate America (15%), the same top reasons seen within responses from white entrepreneurs. (GuidantFinancial)

28.) The U.S. census bureau released new estimates showing 1.1 million employer firms were owned by women and 1.0 million by minorities. (Census)

29.) On average, a minority-owned firm would have $1.2 million in annual sales and employed 8 workers. (SBA)

30.) African American/Black women grew even faster at 50%. Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (41%), Latina/Hispanic (40%), Asian American (37%), and Native American/Alaska Native (26%) businesses grew more slowly than for women of color in general but faster than overall women-owned businesses and all businesses. (AmericanExpress)

31.) There are 322K Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States. (Census

32.) There are 555K Asian-owned businesses in the United States. (Census)

33.) There are 351K Veteran-owned businesses in the United States. (Census)

34.) Women-owned small businesses have been showing up at a faster rate than new businesses in general, at 21% per year. (SMB)

35.) In 2017, 16% of the nearly $83 billion invested in U.S. venture-backed startups went to companies with at least one female founder, and just 2.5% went to startups with all-female founders. (CFAE)

36.) The number of women-owned businesses increased by 21%, while all businesses increased by only 9%. (AmericanExpress)

37.) While the number of women-owned businesses grew 21% from 2014 to 2019, firms owned by women of color grew at double that rate (43%). (AmericanExpress)

38.) People of color represent about 40% of the population, but only 20% of the nation’s 5.6 million business owners with employees. (Brookings)

39.) Women are 51% of the U.S. population but only 33% of business owners with employees. (Brookings)

40.) The ratio of men entrepreneurs to women entrepreneurs in 2018 was 10:7. (GEM)

41.) In 2019, women in America started an average of 1,817 new businesses per day. (AmericanExpress

42.) In 2019, the leading obstacle faced by women in business in the United States was balancing business and family life. That year, 54% of female business owners said that this was the biggest obstacle they faced that their male counterparts do not. (Statista)

Why entrepreneurs choose to open their small business 

43.) In 2021, 29% of owners of small businesses surveyed decided to start their own business because they were ready to be their own boss, which remains from year to year, one of the most popular motivations. (GuidantFinancial)

44.) The number of people who went into small business due to their dissatisfaction with corporate America (17%) increased by 11% this year, possibly demonstrating the struggles employees are facing with corporate decisions during the pandemic including lay-offs. (GuidantFinancial

45.) The third most common reason people started their own small business was the desire to pursue their passion, at 16% (GuidantFinancial)

46.) Researchers found that people were also motivated by the idea of creating something from the ground up. (BusinessNewsDaily)

47.) Why do people start their own small businesses? They want to work for themselves, they want more money, they want to be more hands-on, and they want to take on additional roles. (NAV)

48.) Most small business owners started a new, independent business from scratch, at 58%, while 18% purchased their independent business. (GuidantFinancial)

49.) 74% of small and medium business owners are willing to take big risks to ensure success. (AmericanExpress)

Small businesses hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis 

50.) In 2020, 43% of businesses had temporarily closed and nearly all closures were due to Covid-19. (PNAS)

51.) 10% of small business owners cut their own wages, more than the 6% who furloughed employees or the 5% who needed to implement lay-offs. (GuidantFinancial)

52.) 71% of small business owners are worried their business will “never recover” from the losses associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. (Entrepreneur

53.) Of the businesses surveyed in the accommodation and foodservice industries, 83.5% experienced a negative impact from the Covid-19 pandemic. (Census)

54.) In May 2020, leisure and hospitality were down 41% compared to May 2019. (SBA)

55.) In May 2020, employment in food services and drinking places was 37% lower than in May 2019. (SBA)

56.) The national unemployment rate reached 14.7% in April, the highest rate since modern methods of calculation were adopted in 1948. (SBA)

57.) In April 2020, the unemployment rate was 14.7%, up from 3.6% in April 2019. (SBA

58.) Economists estimate it will take up to 4 years to recover the 20 million American jobs lost since March. (GuidantFinancial

59.) Coresight Research predicts as many as 10,000 stores could close in the U.S. this year, which would set a new record. (CNBC)

60.) Small business firms lost 4.8 million net jobs vs. 5.3 million for large business firms. (SBA)

61.) Multiple studies have shown small businesses owned by POC have struggled more than white entrepreneurs during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially Black-owned businesses. (GuidantFinancial)

62.) One-third of minority-owned small businesses have had to cut employee hours and nearly one-quarter have had to temporarily close their doors. (Forbes)

63.) 8 in 10 small business owners have “no idea” where to get emergency funding for their business, and 69% of small business owners do not have enough cash on hand to sustain their business. (Entrepreneur

64.) 70% of small business owners successfully applied for assistance through the Paychecks  Protection Program in April 2020. (Forbes)

65.) According to a small business majority study, of those who applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, 57% said the application process was difficult and only 33% received the full amount of the loan they requested. (Forbes)

66.) Minority-owned businesses were less likely to receive the full amount requested with 27% Latino, 23% Black, and 23% AAPI. (Forbes)

67.) 69% of small businesses had to increase their efforts on marketing due to the pandemic. (FinancesOnline)

68.) 7% of small businesses surveyed temporarily pivoted their business models to new practices such as remote workforces, curbside pick-up, delivery, or other social distancing practices. When asked if they had implemented innovative or disruptive changes in their business due to the COVID pandemic, 41% answered that they had. (GuidantFinancial)

69.) In November 2020, about 29% of the surveyed small business owners stated that their most important challenge was the impact of the coronavirus. (Statista)

70.) When asked “how happy are you as a small business owner” the plurality of respondents answered very happy, at 43%, while 31% answered somewhat happy, in 2021. (GuidantFinancial)

71.) As of January 2021, 51% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in January. Small employers have plans to fill open positions, with a net 17% (seasonally adjusted) planning to create new jobs in the next three months. (NFIB)

72.) In January 2021, the U.S. Small Business Optimism Index amounted to 95. This is a decrease from a value of 95.9 in December 2020, which can be attributed to the global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Statista)

Why do most small businesses fail?

73.) 90% of startups will fail. (Medium)

74.) The average lifespan of a small business is only 8-½ years. (NAV)

75.) Only 20% of small businesses fail within the first year, but 50% fail within the first 5 years. (Forbes)

76.) About two-thirds of businesses survive 2 years in business, half of all businesses will survive 5 years, and one-third will survive 10 years. (Fundera)

77.) 44% of small businesses have between 2 to 5 employees, making this the most common number of employees. (GuidantFinancial)

78.) 82% of businesses that failed cited cash flow problems as a factor in their failure  (Fundera)

79.) Almost 42% of startup businesses fail because people don’t actually need or want what they are selling. (LendingTree)

80.) Neglecting to look at the competition is cited as a reason for failure by 19% of startups that fail. (LendingTree)

81.) 14% of small businesses that have failed said that ignoring customers was a major reason why they did not succeed. (LendingTree)

82.) 23% of failed businesses cite having the wrong team as the main reason their business folded. (LendingTree)

83.) 35% of aspiring entrepreneurs worry about having a lack of consistent income, while 27% don’t have a fully developed business plan. (FreshBooks)

How to successfully market one’s small business 

84.) Entrepreneurs attribute determination, risk-taking, and vision to their success. (Inc)

85.) Communication, problem-solving, and time management are the top 3 skills business owners think you need to be successful. (FreshBooks)

86.) Experience alone does not make a team successful – soft skills such as “entrepreneurial passion” and “shared strategic vision” are required as well. (HBR)

87.) Regardless of the type of small business, 84% of business owners are using at least one major digital platform to get business done. (NAV)

88.) 98% of marketers say personalization advances customer relationships. (Forbes)

89.) 71% of customers say a customer loyalty program is an integral part of their relationship with a brand. (BBB)

90.) 90% of American companies have some sort of customer loyalty program. (BBB

91.) 52% of American customers will join a company’s customer loyalty program if they are regular visitors of that business. (BBB)

92.) 73% of millennials prefer communications from businesses to come by email. (Business2Community)

93.) As of March 2018, 42% of small business owners in the U.S. said they used e-mail marketing to promote their companies. (Statista)

94.) In 2019, the number of global e-mail users amounted to 3.9 billion and is set to grow to 4.48 billion users in 2024. (Statista)

95.) In August 2018, the utilization of digital technologies by transportation, warehousing, and wholesale industries led to a 25.5% growth in sales and is projected to increase by 28.4% in the next three years with better use of online tools and technology. (Statista)

96.) 49% of small business owners plan to increase staff and expand or remodel their business. 55% will pivot with the times by investing in digital marketing with 30% plan on traditional marketing. (GuidantFinancial

97.) Nearly all small businesses maintain an online presence for their business, and 34% of small business owners personally maintain their company website. (NSBA)

98.) 74% of small businesses view technology and keeping up with technology to be very important to the success of their company. (NSBA

99.) A majority of small business owners are using some kind of social media for business networking with Facebook and Linked In taking the top 2 spots. (NSBA)

Building success for small businesses in 2021

In 2021, your business may face challenges and some may be out of your control due to the Covid-19 pandemic. By utilizing marketing techniques and finding new ways to keep your business going, there is no end to the accomplishments you can continue to build in 2021 and in the future.

These small business statistics give leeway to new information regarding the success, failure, and hardships these companies face. But this data also brings light to a blueprint of how small businesses can be successful and see their businesses continue to thrive. 

It is important to implement new marketing skills to continue to keep your business strong and to stay motivated, even when you face hardships.

If you are looking to expand your knowledge of marketing strategies, partnering with Podium may be the next step for your business to take. Podium offers communication tools and marketing tools to ensure our customers are getting the best out of your small businesses in 2021 and the many years to come. 

Adapt the way you do business. Press send.