Happiness is Owning a Small Business

If you’re a small business owner - and many advisers are - odds are you’re pretty happy about that decision.


In fact, according to a new survey from TD Bank, a whopping 69% of American small business owners described themselves as “very happy”, with 61% of respondents for the TD Small Business Happiness Index claiming they were happier than their peers. 

Perhaps more critically, in this still-soft economy, 87% say that they’re still likely to be running their own business five years from now.

There are several reasons for small business owners’ high satisfaction levels, according to the report.  American small business owners say that owning a small business gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment (97%), as well as a strong personal connection to their employees (94%), and customers (88%).  Most (82%) say that owning a small business gives them the opportunity to volunteer their time or make donations to charities, sports teams and events.

According to the TD Small Business Happiness Index, small business owners say the top three benefits of small business ownership are:

  • being their own boss
  • setting their own schedule, and
  • being in control or being able to make their own decisions.

As for the top three challenges of entrepreneurship, the top three cited were:

  • managing budgets and cash flow,
  • responsibilities, risks and stress associated with owning their companies, and
  • the long hours and limited time off.

In fact, most are putting in 50 hours or more each week, and nearly one-in-four say they work 60 hours or more.  “Our survey results show that 88 percent of small business owners can never truly stop thinking about their business, and more than half have trouble separating their business lives from their personal ones,” noted Fred Graziano, Head of Retail and Small Business Banking for TD Bank.

The TD Small Business Happiness Index examined the attitudes and behaviors of small business owners in a dozen North American metropolitan areas. Small businesses were defined as those companies having 5 to 50 employees. The research was conducted by Environics Research which surveyed a total of 1,213 small business owners across North America between May 13 and June 15, 2010, including 502 small business owners in the United States.