SOURCE: Manta

Manta

June 26, 2014 09:00 ET

Manta Study: Entrepreneurs Celebrate Small Business Freedom & Independence Year Round

Manta's 2014 Mid-Year Small Business Wellness Index Shows Hiring and Success Trending Up From 2013

COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwired - Jun 26, 2014) - A new study from Manta, the largest online community dedicated to small business, reveals that small business success has increased since last year. The research, which surveyed 1,105 members of Manta's small business community, found that 68 percent of small business owners reported the first half of 2014 to be a successful period for their business, up 12 percent from this time last year. Moreover, an overwhelming majority (83 percent) of small business owners reported they are optimistic about business prospects looking ahead to the second half of the year.

Though still cautious about hiring, the survey revealed 30 percent of SBOs made hires during the first half of 2014, up 10 percent from last year and 35 percent plan to make new hires during the remainder of the year.

Millennials are becoming a growing force in the small business community. Based on a subset of the overall survey data, 76 percent of Millennials reported having a successful first half of 2014, which was higher than any other generation. Moreover, Millennials made more hires this year (44 percent) than any other generation and expect to make the most hires (52 percent) during the next six months.

This group is also more hopeful than any other generation when it comes to business prospects -- the overwhelming majority (90 percent) of Millennials revealed they are optimistic about business prospects for the remainder of the year.

"Though a challenging undertaking, there are invaluable rewards that come with being an entrepreneur. Millennials are demonstrating they're a new driving force behind the small business community," said John Swanciger, CEO, Manta. "It's no longer assumed that recent graduates will enter the traditional workforce. Companies will have to adjust as Millennials become a bigger force in the small business space."

The Value of Small Business Independence
According to the survey, nearly three in four (72 percent) entrepreneurs revealed having their own company brings more freedom and independence than working for someone else -- only 21 percent feel they have more responsibility, and less independence, as an entrepreneur.

Over half (52 percent) SBOs reported independence and the ability to control their own destiny as the top reward of being an independent entrepreneur, outranking being their own boss (23 percent), increased confidence (7 percent) and monetary benefits (4 percent). Fifty-nine percent said pursuing their passions and interest in their work brings them more personal freedom than not having a boss (19 percent) or setting their own schedule (17 percent).

Struggles on the Road to Independence
There are roadblocks to independence for any occupation, but from a small business perspective, the economy ranked as the No. 1 barrier to achieving independence (29 percent), trumping finding new customers (28 percent), and worrying about money and the financial stability of business (20 percent).

"The fluctuating economy brings its share of challenges to my company's growth," said Kiel Krausen, Owner of Pitts Media. "Because of this challenge it's all the more important to turn to technology tools like Manta to help grow my business. Manta has helped increase my online presence to drive interest and get my company's name out there so I can network with business prospects and ultimately, drive revenue."

Technology Plays Critical Role for Small Business Freedom
When it comes to technologies that allow small business owners to maintain their independence, having an Internet connection ranked most important (39 percent), allowing small business owners to stay connected and work from anywhere. Additionally, 32 percent of SBOs reported having a mobile phone as most important, followed by email (18 percent) and organizational applications (3 percent).

While technology proves to be a critical factor to independence, staying connected while on vacation is equally crucial -- 40 percent of small business owners say having access to business files and apps while on vacation reduces stress because they know everything is still running smoothly while they're away.

About the Manta 2014 Mid-Year Small Business Wellness Index
Manta polled 1,105 small business owners between June 4, 2014 - June 10, 2014 via an online survey, who are members of Manta.com and have claimed their Manta business profile. The margin of error is +/-2.82 percentage points. For more on the Manta Mid-Year Small Business Wellness Index, please contact manta (at) highwirepr (dot) com. To access the full survey results, go to http://www.manta.com/press/pr/entrepreneurs-celebrate-small-business-freedom-independence/

About Manta
Manta is the place for small business. Born as an online directory, we help businesses stand out, join forces and get smarter. Optimized for the mobile consumer, Manta has become the most highly trafficked destination to find great services and unique products from local businesses everywhere. Become one of the 30,000 business owners who will join Manta this month to get visible and gain one-on-one insights from other business owners at www.manta.com.