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From the family-owned flower shop to the latest tech “unicorn”, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) come in all shapes and sizes. Some operate out of a garage or a dorm room, while others employ 200 workers in a factory. Some use (and create) the latest technologies, while others run their businesses on spreadsheets and Post-it notes. With such a breadth of differences in what smaller businesses are and how they operate, it’s easy to be amazed by the grand things they accomplish. In honor of National Small Business Week, we compiled the following 10 facts about small business that we thought were truly exceptional by any standards.

 

1. More than half of Americans own or work for a small business.

Sure, you see them all around you. But did you realize that more than half of your friends and neighbors work for them? The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reports that more than 50% of Americans either own or work for a small business.

 

2. Small businesses power our economy.

You may think it’s the juggernaut employers — like General Motors and Walmart — that drive our economy, but it’s really the small guys. In fact, according to the SBA, small businesses create about 2 out of 3 new jobs in the U.S. each year.

 

3. Small business leaders wear gobs of hats.

Two-thirds of SMB owners and leaders (66%) are personally responsible for three or more of the following areas of their business: operations, finance, sales, marketing, human resources, customer service, product development, or IT.

 

 

 

4. Manual processes hamper small businesses.

On average, SMB teams spend 23% of their workdays manually inputting data, taking away time that could be spent on more productive projects. Add it up, and that’s more than one full day each week lost to manual processes. Good grief!

 

5. Hiring great talent is one of their biggest challenges.

You might think SMB leaders lose the most amount of sleep over making payroll or securing their next round of funding. As it turns out, finding the next great hire — a worthy and valid concern — keeps 54% of them up at night.

 

6. SMBs that love CRM technology really, really love it.

While it may be no surprise that time-strapped SMBs lag behind enterprises in their technology adoption (with only one in three using a CRM system today), it may surprise you to find out how fiercely attached SMBs are to their CRM systems: 20% report they’d rather sleep on a bed of nails than give up their CRM!

 

 

 

 

7. Small businesses are embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Although it’s probably no surprise that only 11% of SMBs currently use AI and 41% feel that it’s too complex for their needs, you may be surprised to learn that 51% believe AI is an important factor when choosing new technologies. AI is no longer just for big businesses.

 

8. Neighborhood small businesses are more likely to be founded by immigrants.

According to the American Immigration Council, while immigrants comprise 13% of the country’s total population and 16% of the labor force, they make up 18% of business owners overall and own 28% of “main street” businesses (defined as retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services). These are the types of businesses that contribute to neighborhood vitality.

 

9. More “unicorns” are founded by immigrants.

Immigrants are also behind some of the most successful small business startups. In fact, the billion dollar businesses that are often referred to as "unicorns" are more likely to be founded by immigrants. Data from the Wall Street Journal  support this: immigrants have founded 51% of the recent crop of billion-dollar startups in the U.S. Not only that, but according to Fortune magazine, 3% of the Fortune 500 are founded by first or second generation immigrants.

 

10. Women’s entrepreneurship is on the rise.

According to American Express, over the past 20 years (1997–2017), the number of women-owned businesses have 114% compared to the overall national growth rate of 44% for all businesses. You go, girls!

We hope these stats have helped you realize just how exceptional small businesses are! Do you want to see more stats about the technology trends affecting SMBs in 2018? Download the full Small & Medium Business Trends report now. 

 

 

This blog post is one in a series of blogs celebrating National Small Business Week 2018. In case you missed it, check out our blog post, "25 Free Resources for SMBs" that was published to kick off a week of celebration.

Salesforce can help you find more customers, win their business, and keep them happy so you can grow your business faster than ever. Learn more about our small business CRM solutions or follow us on Twitter @SalesforceSMB and on LinkedIn at Salesforce for Small Business. Join the conversation with #SalesforceEssentials.