Survey of Successful Business Owners, Entrepreneurs Reveals Some Universal Truths

It is always interesting to learn more about what drives the success of business owners and entrepreneurs.
A recent survey of 248 such high-net-worth business owners and entrepreneurs by Bank of America, U.S. Trust explored their experiences from start-up to expansion to exit.
According to Karen Reynolds Sharkey, National Business Owner Strategy Executive at U.S. Trust the survey was designed to gain insight into the mindset and challenges at each stage of business ownership. 
She amplified the results of the survey during her appearance on Recalculating Radio with co-hosts Dan Perkins and Don Mazzella.
Sharkey said the findings include: 

  • Path to success:  the desire to work for themselves, take control of their own destiny, and make their own decisions drives business owners and entrepreneurs.  Few inherited their business – rather, they founded it or acquired it on their own, some at a very young age.
  • Starting-up:  Obtaining seed capital is the biggest hurdle for business founders -- and most used solely personal or family resources.  But, nearly half would fund their business differently if they had to do it over again.
  • Biggest concerns:  Small business are most concerned with compliance with government regulations, while middle market and large corporations are most concerned with the economy – and businesses of all sizes are concerned about actions by the Trump administration and the impact of national policies on their business.
  • Personal risk: a surprising amount of successful, high-net-worth business owners are leaving their personal financial security and business assets to chance – few have basic protection such as a will, life insurance, umbrella insurance, durable power of attending, secure data storage and backup, and instructions for digital assets.
  • Moving on:  Half plan to exit their business within the next 3 years – to retire, start another business or something else – yet, most don’t have a formal exit strategy in place to ensure a smooth sale or transfer, and aren’t prepared for unexpected circumstances such as health issues or law suits that could diminish the company’s value.
  • Making an impact:  business owners are commitment to making a positive difference in the world – by creating economic opportunity and jobs for others, investing for impact, philanthropically supporting non-profit organizations and causes, and serving on boards. 

The survey also reveals that a new generation of exceptionally entrepreneurial-minded Millennials is approaching business ownership very differently than their older counterparts – starting at a younger age, using a mix of outside resources to fund their start-ups, co-owning with family, and planning deal activity within three years.