Marketers love stats.
We pull them out like party favors, name dropping data and shutting down conversations faster than acute laryngitis.
But there’s a reason statistics are so powerful, and their use isn’t limited to number-crunchers and marketers.
They matter for you, too.
Stats help you:
- Make better (and safer) business decisions.
- Maintain morale through your highs and lows.
- Gauge where your business performance falls compared to the norm.
But most importantly?
Stats help you find the margins of your story, forming the data-backed canvas through which your journey as a solopreneur plays out. Stats don’t define you -- they never will -- but they do support you and give you the foundation to make your business thrive.
So to that end, today we’re going to look at 45 need-to-know statistics behind small businesses and two of the most popular monetization channels, affiliate and email marketing, respectively.
Let’s dive right in.
Small business and entrepreneur statistics
Entrepreneurs tend to be associated with Instagram sponsorships, wild-eyed startup idealism, and no shortage of self-confidence. The reality, however, looks a bit different. Here’s the story -- and people -- behind the numbers.
- 77% of small businesses in the US rely on founders’ personal funds to launch and stay afloat. (Source: Lendio)
- In addition to using their own funds, small business owners have their hands full with limited support staff. 66% of owners personally juggle three or more business areas in their day-to-day, including marketing, sales, and customer service. (Source: Salesforce)
- What’s more: 30.07% of business owners don’t pay themselves. (Source: Fundera)
- Which might be surprising when you consider that 80% of small business owners work nights and weekends to keep the hustle going. (Source: Fundera)
- Part of the grind is, unfortunately, a literal grind. 23% of the average business owner’s daily work is consumed with manual tasks like data entry. (Source: Salesforce)
- Still, small business owners are more optimistic than ever before. The Small Business Index, a measure of how financially optimistic small business owners feel, is at a record high this year at +118. (Source: Wells Fargo/Gallup)
- The Global Entrepreneurship Index, likewise, is on an upward trend. Compared to last year, economic support for entrepreneurship is up 3% across the globe and very healthy. (Source: GEDI)
- Currently, approximately 540,000 new businesses owners launch a business every month in the US. Or, put another way, every 310 out of 100,000 adults become new entrepreneurs each month. (Source: Kauffman)
- With so many new entrepreneurs on the scene, you’re probably wondering about how to overcome competition. According to 77% of companies, you need holistic competitor intelligence -- i.e., knowing everything you can about your competition. (Source: Crayon)
- Other than that, you need good ole’ fashioned experience. When asked about the best way to learn about becoming an entrepreneur, 51% of people’s recommendation was to “start a company.” (Source: GoDaddy)
- Side-hustlers can be difficult to quantify. No one is completely sure about how many side-hustlers or gig workers there are in the US economy. Current estimates say between 4% to 40% of the economy is fueled by side-hustlers. (Source: Recode)
- That said, however many side-hustlers there are, they’re definitely profiting. The average reported monthly income for a few hours of work is $686, or $8,232 annually. (Source: Bankrate)
- Once you have launched your side-hustle, lean on marketing to fuel your momentum. That’s what 47% of small businesses plan to do, stating their intent to leverage new promotional strategies as their growth driver in the future. (Source: NSBA)
- It’s important to keep those marketing and growth strategies manageable, however. After all, 49% of small business owners handle all of their marketing by themselves. (Source: Keap/Infusionsoft)
- The technologies involved in marketing and managing a business are worth noting, as well. 41% of small businesses say their greatest frustration and challenge with technology owes to daily maintenance. (Source: SMB Group)
- Beyond that, another time-eater for small businesses is managing content creation and distribution. 70% of professional creators say it takes them between 1-10 hours a week to ship their work to their audience. (Source: Writtent)
- This heavy burden of responsibility is likely some of the impetus behind why 49.8% of entrepreneurs rely on word-of-mouth referrals to acquire new customers. (Source: Drip)
- Unfortunately, all of that juggling and priority-switching can take a heavy toll on business owners. Entrepreneurs are twice as likely to suffer from mental health afflictions than the general population. (Source: Shopify)
- Professional burnout is also a significant problem for entrepreneurs. 91% of workers say burnout directly impacts the quality of their work. (Source: Deloitte)
- Coinciding with the prevalence of burnout, 40% of men and 30% of women plan -- in advance -- to continue working during their downtime. But rather than contributing to their anxieties, many say it helps to alleviate stress. (Source: Wrike)
- This finding should come as no surprise when you consider the unfortunate rise of perfectionism. All forms of perfectionism have spiked since 1976, increasing social, personal, and professional pressure significantly for entrepreneurs. (Source: APA)
Main takeaway: Entrepreneurship is healthy, but the demands of it can be daunting on creators, and with so many responsibilities riding on their shoulders, it’s little wonder why.
Anything you can do to cut back on your daily time-wasters -- whether it’s hiring a virtual assistant or using an all-in-one platform to manage your data -- is critical for keeping the grind from grinding you out.