Savvy Advice Is Nice, But Cash Is Even Nicer

Nothing beats having gobs of money when someone launches a small business. A survey conducted for the Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index asked owners of small companies to cite the things that would have helped them when they were trying to get their businesses going. A majority cited “starting with more money” (53 percent). And well they might, considering that they started their companies with about $25,000 on average, and “half say they started with $10,000 or less.” Other things that would have been helpful: “asking more advice from experienced business owners” (49 percent), “understanding financial management better” (39 percent), “getting more legal/accounting advice” (32 percent) and “spending less on non-essential expenses” (29 percent). As you can gather from the chart, when a small business struggles to get off the ground, it’s seldom because the owner is spending unexpectedly vast piles of cash on advertising and marketing. Maybe they should have spent more! “Overall, small-business owners report that on average it took more than three years for their new business to become profitable.” (And this doesn’t take into account the people who weren’t polled because their small businesses went bust.) Thirty-eight percent said they did more business than they’d expected in their first year of operation, but 25 percent said they did less.