With job insecurity hitting all time lows over the past seven years, many more Americans are taking control of their destiny. Or, so it seems according to a new report published by the University of Phoenix. According to the report, more than half of working adults own a business or have entrepreneurial ambitions and nearly eight in ten say they are or would be a superb boss.
According to a recent University of Phoenix® survey, more than half (51 percent) of working adults in the U.S. either currently own or want to own their own business. Of those working Americans who do not currently own their own business, 41 percent hope to do so in the future.
“Being a business owner isn’t easy, but can be very rewarding for those who have done their homework and are educated about the different facets of running a business”
Here are some of the survey findings:
- 55 percent of workers in their 20s who don’t currently own a business hope to do so in the future,
- 48 percent of workers in their 30s hope to own their own business,
- 36 percent in their 40s hope to own their own business.
- Careering may be leading more workers to also consider entrepreneurship later in their careers. In fact, 39 percent of workers in their 50s and 26 percent of workers age 60 or older who do not own a business, want to do so in the future.
Here are some additional findings.
Workers in Los Angeles and Atlanta are more inclined to be entrepreneurs. Sixty-seven percent of working adults in Los Angeles and 65 percent in Atlanta currently own or want to own a business, significantly higher than the national average (51 percent). The percentages of workers in other select metropolitan areas who either own or want to own their own businesses are as follows: New York City (54 percent), Chicago (54 percent), Dallas-Ft. Worth (51 percent) and San Francisco (48 percent).
“Being a business owner isn’t easy, but can be very rewarding for those who have done their homework and are educated about the different facets of running a business,” said Dr. Sam Sanders, college chair for University of Phoenix School of Business and a former human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience. “One of the biggest challenges is recognizing what you do not know. Entrepreneurs may have a solid understanding of a niche or industry, but may not have a lot of experience in other aspects of running a business, including strategic planning, marketing, finance, people management, procurement and research and design. Business degree programs and continuing education, along with a variety of free business resources and networking opportunities, can help entrepreneurs fill these gaps and strengthen their business acumen.”
Here are a few questions I found most interesting …
1. If you were the boss
Eighty percent of working adults identify things that they would do differently if they were in charge of their workplaces. The top change would be providing more training and education opportunities for employees, which was identified by 41 percent of workers. Thirty-seven percent say they would create a more flexible work environment, such a flex hours or working from home. More than one-third (35 percent) say they would rely more on teamwork and collaboration, while 33 percent say they would hire better-qualified employees.
This is something we have been advising business leaders for nearly two decades. So it is not surprising that budding entrepreneurs have felt the need and plan to do something about it when they are in charge.
2. Confidence in leadership
The majority of working adults (78 percent) say they would make a great boss, but those currently in leadership positions are significantly more confident in their abilities. More than 9-in-ten (91 percent) managers, directors and c-level employees say they are or would be a great boss compared to 72 percent of workers in other positions. Eighty-nine percent of managers, directors and c-level employees call their leadership skills “exceptional” compared to 73 percent of other workers.
More than two-thirds (68 percent) of workers believe they are smarter than their co-workers. Workers in Atlanta may have the most respect for their co-workers, with only 58 percent saying they are smarter than their co-workers, followed by 65 percent in New York City, 72 percent in San Francisco and 73 percent in Dallas-Ft. Worth. More than three-quarters of workers in Los Angeles (78 percent) and Chicago (76 percent) say they are smarter than their co-workers.
This makes good sense to me, since the inquiries from current managers who are contemplating launching a consulting career and are looking at our turn-key team development system is steadily increasing.
Steps to take before launching out on your own
If you are looking to start your own business, what should you be considering as you construct your business plan?
- Learn how to conduct market research
- Identify your target audiences and understand what motivates them to act
- Create a business plan with specific launch criteria
- Research and understand funding options for your new business
- Develop an organization and management structure so your company is poised for growth
- Identify the work culture you will ride shot gun on religiously
- Don’t operate in a vacuum – network and learn from other successful entrepreneurs
The online survey of more than 1,600 U.S. employed adults was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of University of Phoenix in April 2013.
This Working Adult survey was conducted between April 18-26, 2013, among 1,616 U.S. adults age 18 or older who are full-time, part-time, or self-employed. The data include over-samples in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Francisco, and Atlanta. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
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