People go into business for themselves for a variety of reasons. It may be that they have long wanted to be an entrepreneur and launching the venture is the culmination of a lifelong dream or perhaps it is a chance to make more money, or launch that big idea. Regardless of the reason entrepreneurs started their businesses, they are benefiting in more ways than you might think.
Bank of America just released its latest Small Business Owner Report (SBOR), a semi-annual study that looks at the concerns and perspectives of small business owners across the country. The spring Report examined a variety of issues, including the state of small business wellness.
Health and wellness is certainly a hot topic these days and according to the Report, small business owners are pretty healthy: They are, mostly, getting enough sleep, many are exercising regularly, and just about a third are eating more healthily as a result of being in business for themselves. That said, and not surprisingly, a huge number of small business owners (72%) said that they work more than 40 hours a week.
And it’s not just the entrepreneurs themselves who are living a healthier lifestyle as a result of being part of a small business – wellness is being passed on to their employees as well:
- Nearly 90 percent of the owners say that they have taken steps to contribute to the health and happiness of their employees
- 45 percent say that they do so by giving staff flex and work-from-home hours
- A third offer health and wellness benefits
- And just about a quarter engage in “team building activities such as sports or excursions”
As we all know, “health” can take on many forms, which leads to the interesting question: How good is the financial health of small business right now?
The answer is – quite good.
According to the Report, nearly a third (31%) of small business owners plan to hire more employees in the next 12 months and 51 percent expect their revenue to increase during that period. Also, 41 percent say they are confident that the national economy will improve in the next year while 45 percent feel this way about their local economy. These are both increases from last fall’s Report.
So what we see is that small business owners are feeling healthy and optimistic, with an eye on the future and the growth of their company.
Given that, here’s a question for you: Which generation do you think is more optimistic about the future of their business: The Baby Boomers (51-to-64-years-old) or the Millennials (18-to 34-years-old)? Believe it or not, Millennials are the ones who are more optimistic:
- 70 percent of Millennial small business owners expect to see an increase in revenue, as opposed to only 46 percent of the Baby Boomer entrepreneurs feeling that way
- 52 percent of Millennials feel that the health of their business is so strong that they would be hiring more. Only 24 percent of the Boomers felt that way
- 70 percent of Millennials think that they handle stress well; only about half (55%) of Baby Boomers felt that way
The upshot of all of this data is that, for the most part, the Small Business Owner Report findings show that right now, small business owners are feeling like a pretty healthy lot, and that is good news for everyone.
How has owning a small business affected your personal health? Share your story below.
About Steve Strauss
Steven D. Strauss is one of the world's leading experts on small business and is a lawyer, writer, and speaker. The senior small business columnist for USA Today, his Ask an Expert column is one of the most highly-syndicated business columns in the country. He is the best-selling author of 17 books, including his latest,The Small Business Bible, now out in a completely updated third edition. You can listen to his weekly podcast, Small Business Success, visit his new website TheSelfEmployed, and follow him on Twitter. © Steven D. Strauss