SOURCE: SAGE

Sage

October 16, 2013 11:00 ET

Sage State of the Start-Up Survey: American Small Business Owners Report Quick Sales and Self-Pay Upon Business Start-Up; Nearly Half Added Employees in the First Two Years

Top Reported Challenges During Start-Up Include Marketing, Taxes, Work/Life Balance, and Management of Time, Money and Stress

IRVINE, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 16, 2013) - Sage North America is pleased to announce today the results and discoveries of the Sage State of the Start-Up Study, a survey looking into successes and challenges of new and established entrepreneurs in the United States while identifying differing trends between these two populations. Sage, a leading provider of business management software and services to more than 6 million small and midsized businesses worldwide, revealed that a desire to be one's own boss, to do what they love, and potentially to earn more money top the list of reasons for starting a business. Other insights gained from the study include that many start-ups were successful in getting their business off the ground, making a profit, and adding employees in a relatively short time, despite struggling with business and personal challenges. On October 23rd, Sage is excited to announce results of the Sage Business Index survey, a global study looking at small businesses' economic confidence and outlook, self-characterized evaluations, challenges, and more.

"Americans are inherently entrepreneurial, millennials especially. These growing, future tycoons are currently shaking and shaping the future of business," stated Gabrielle Boko, executive vice president, Marketing, Sage North America. "Through the Sage State of the Start-Up Survey and supplementary research efforts, Sage is committed to deepening our connection with these owners, by understanding entrepreneurs' successes and challenges and supporting those needs as they start up now and as their businesses grow in the future."

Start-up growth and timing
While 40 percent of entrepreneurs were able to go from idea to start-up in less than three months, 72 percent achieved this milestone in less than nine months. Of the 40 percent who started their business within three months, over 50 percent were under the age of 40. Remarkably, 57 percent of all respondents made their first sale within the first three months of starting their business, and nearly half were able to "pay" themselves within six months of business. Additionally, just under half of responding entrepreneurs added employees within the first two years of business. 

Start-up struggles, support and software
The top reported business difficulties or challenges upon start-up included marketing (35 percent) and taxes (30 percent). Only 27 percent reported access to capital and financing and 26 percent reported sales as difficult or challenging. The highest personal challenges included work/life balance (34 percent), time management (28 percent), money management (27 percent), stress management (26 percent) and organization (16 percent).

Start-ups turned to other people most often for help (86 percent). The next most popular sources were software (83 percent), websites (74 percent), and organizations (48 percent). Forty-nine percent reported email to be a helpful start-up software tool; after that, Office Productivity Suite (31 percent), website/e-commerce (26 percent), and accounting/invoicing (24 percent). Seventy-four percent found websites helpful while starting their business, followed by books/e-books (32 percent) and workshops, courses, seminars, or training (29 percent). Twenty-one percent of start-ups found the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a helpful organization.

Start-up versus established struggles and support
Start-ups were more likely than established businesses to be having challenges with access to capital and financing (27 v. 16 percent), marketing (35 v. 23 percent), and accounting/bookkeeping (20 v. 14 percent). Start-up owners are more likely than established owners to experience the personal difficulties of work/life balance (34 v. 25 percent), time management (28 v. 20 percent), and money management (27 v. 15 percent).

Start-up business owners reported being more likely than established owners to turn to people like friends and family (60 v. 48 percent) or mentors and coaches (19 v. 7 percent) for help, while those in the established camp were more likely to turn to specialists such as accountants (21 v. 10 percent), lawyers (11 v. 7 percent) and bankers (12 v. 7 percent). The survey found that younger owners of start-ups are more likely than older ones to turn to family and friends; older owners are more likely to use mentors and coaches.

Methodology
Sage conducted the survey in October 2013 among 1,004 small business owners, split evenly between start-up and established entrepreneurs. The margin of error is +/- 3.0 percent with a confidence level of 95 percent.

The full findings of the Sage State of the Start-Up Survey can be found here.

About The Sage Group plc
Sage Group plc is a leading global provider of business management software to small and medium sized companies, creating greater freedom for them to succeed. Sage understands how and why each business is unique. We provide products and services that suit varying needs, are a pleasure to use and are secure and efficient. Formed in 1981, Sage was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1989 and entered the FTSE 100 in 1999. Sage has over 6 million customers and more than 13,380 employees in 24 countries covering the UK & Ireland, mainland Europe, North America, South Africa, Australia, Asia and Brazil. For further information please visit: www.sage.com

For more information about Sage in North America, please visit the company website at NA.Sage.com. Follow Sage North America on Facebook, Facebook.com/Sage, and Twitter, Twitter.com/SageNAmerica.

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