If Given the Choice, Most Small-Business Owners Say They'd Start Up Again

A recent survey found that for more than 80 percent of small-business owners, the rewards outweigh the challenges.

learn more about Laura Entis

By Laura Entis • May 21, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

With the opportunity to be your own boss, flexible hours and unlimited income potential, many would agree that "entrepreneur" is the aspirational career title of the moment. But as any small-business owner can tell you, it often comes with a set of corresponding challenges: lots of responsibility for unpredictable pay, high risk and long hours along with the inevitable day-to-day headaches of running a company.

The financial crisis and subsequent shaky recovery have significantly increased these challenges for small-business owners everywhere, which begs the question: If they could do it all again, would they?

Related: What Gets These 30 Entrepreneurs Out of Bed Every Day

The answer is a resounding "yes," according to a Gallup survey released yesterday. More than 80 percent of the 600 small-business owners surveyed said that if they got an automatic re-do, they would choose the same career path. It's a percentage that hasn't changed much over the past 11 years, which suggests that despite the setbacks and hardships many small-business owners faced during the Great Recession, they don't regret taking the entrepreneurial plunge. So what gives?

While there are a lot of unique answers to that question Gallup found that the overwhelmingly response was a sense of independence. Other popular answers were job satisfaction, benefits derived from a flexible schedule and interacting with customers.

Related: What City Topped the Chart for Helping Small Businesses Succeed?

Of course, all of this independence and flexibility comes with trade-offs. When asked what the big challenge was when starting a business, the majority of respondents cited day-to-day stressors, such as generating revenue and a customer base, securing cash flow, obtaining credit and funds and marketing. Other commonly cited challenges included dealing with government regulations and the stress of uncertainty that comes with starting something.

Tell Us: When it comes to starting your business, what's the most rewarding part? The most challenging? And would you do it all again?

Laura Entis
Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

The Scam Artist Who Robbed Backstreet Boys and NSYNC Blind. 'Some of the Guys Couldn't Pay Their Car Payment.'

In the 1990s, Lou Pearlman made millions creating the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. It was all a giant Ponzi scheme.

Thought Leaders

5 Small Daily Habits Self-Made Millionaires Use to Grow Their Wealth

We've all seen what self-made millionaires look like on TV, but it's a lot more subtle than that. Brian Tracy researched what small daily habits these successful entrepreneurs adopted on their journey from rags to riches.

Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Living

Purchase a One-Year Costco Membership and Score a $30 Digital Costco Shop Card

Take advantage of great products and stretch your budget further at Costco.

Business Solutions

What Bill Gates and Steve Jobs Taught Me About Getting to Know Your Customers

Despite the push toward chatbots and technology-driven customer service, nothing can replace determining what your customers want through personal social interaction.