Few Small Business Owners Have Regrets About Starting Their Companies

Many small business owners know that running their own companies isn’t always easy. The hours can be long, the work can be frustrating, and the progress can be slow. However, the vast majority of those entrepreneurs say that if they had the option to do it all over again, they wouldn’t change a thing.

In all, 83 percent of small business owners nationwide say that if they could go back in time, they would still go down the path they chose and start their own companies, according to a new survey from Gallup. That number is little changed from any point in the past 11 years, with the high during that time (87 percent) coming around the middle of 2006, just before the start of the recession, and the low of 78 percent hitting in the first few months of 2007.

Meanwhile, only 15 percent responded that they’d do something else instead, the report said. That, too, is more or less in the middle of the levels seen in the last few years, ranging from little as 12 percent who felt this way (both in mid-2006 and late 2007), to as much as 20 percent (early 2009).

What do they like about it?
When it comes to owning a small business, entrepreneurs cited a number of perks as being the most rewarding part of their jobs, the report said. The most popular of these by far – cited by 42 percent of respondents – is having independence and being their own boss so that they can make decisions as they see fit. Another 17 percent reported they most enjoy the sense of accomplishment and pride they derive from running their companies, while 12 percent liked having the ability to make their own flexible schedules or have more family time.

“These attitudes have not fluctuated much over the past decade or so, and apparently the recession – which caused owners’ optimism to fall dramatically – still did not affect their satisfaction with their decision to start a business,” the pollsters wrote. “Owners’ sense of freedom and independence derived from their entrepreneurship apparently overcomes the challenges of finding and keeping customers and maintaining enough cash flow to keep the business afloat.”

Owners who want to best position their companies for success going forward may be able to do so by cutting costs, such as those for small business insurance. More affordable liability insurance coverage, for instance, can save companies thousands annually.