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Introduction to Business

5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth

Introduction to Business5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth
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  1. Preface
  2. 1 Understanding Economic Systems and Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 The Nature of Business
    3. 1.2 Understanding the Business Environment
    4. 1.3 How Business and Economics Work
    5. 1.4 Macroeconomics: The Big Picture
    6. 1.5 Achieving Macroeconomic Goals
    7. 1.6 Microeconomics: Zeroing in on Businesses and Consumers
    8. 1.7 Competing in a Free Market
    9. 1.8 Trends in the Business Environment and Competition
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  3. 2 Making Ethical Decisions and Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 Understanding Business Ethics
    3. 2.2 How Organizations Influence Ethical Conduct
    4. 2.3 Managing a Socially Responsible Business
    5. 2.4 Responsibilities to Stakeholders
    6. 2.5 Trends in Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
    7. Key Terms
    8. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    9. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    10. Ethics Activity
    11. Working the Net
    12. Critical Thinking Case
    13. Hot Links Address Book
  4. 3 Competing in the Global Marketplace
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Global Trade in the United States
    3. 3.2 Why Nations Trade
    4. 3.3 Barriers to Trade
    5. 3.4 Fostering Global Trade
    6. 3.5 International Economic Communities
    7. 3.6 Participating in the Global Marketplace
    8. 3.7 Threats and Opportunities in the Global Marketplace
    9. 3.8 The Impact of Multinational Corporations
    10. 3.9 Trends in Global Competition
    11. Key Terms
    12. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    13. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    14. Ethics Activity
    15. Working the Net
    16. Critical Thinking Case
    17. Hot Links Address Book
  5. 4 Forms of Business Ownership
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Going It Alone: Sole Proprietorships
    3. 4.2 Partnerships: Sharing the Load
    4. 4.3 Corporations: Limiting Your Liability
    5. 4.4 Specialized Forms of Business Organization
    6. 4.5 Franchising: A Popular Trend
    7. 4.6 Mergers and Acquisitions
    8. 4.7 Trends in Business Ownership
    9. Key Terms
    10. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    11. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    12. Ethics Activity
    13. Working the Net
    14. Critical Thinking Case
    15. Hot Links Address Book
  6. 5 Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing Your Own Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Entrepreneurship Today
    3. 5.2 Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs
    4. 5.3 Small Business: Driving America's Growth
    5. 5.4 Ready, Set, Start Your Own Business
    6. 5.5 Managing a Small Business
    7. 5.6 Small Business, Large Impact
    8. 5.7 The Small Business Administration
    9. 5.8 Trends in Entrepreneurship and Small-Business Ownership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  7. 6 Management and Leadership in Today's Organizations
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 The Role of Management
    3. 6.2 Planning
    4. 6.3 Organizing
    5. 6.4 Leading, Guiding, and Motivating Others
    6. 6.5 Controlling
    7. 6.6 Managerial Roles
    8. 6.7 Managerial Skills
    9. 6.8 Trends in Management and Leadership
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  8. 7 Designing Organizational Structures
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 Building Organizational Structures
    3. 7.2 Contemporary Structures
    4. 7.3 Using Teams to Enhance Motivation and Performance
    5. 7.4 Authority—Establishing Organizational Relationships
    6. 7.5 Degree of Centralization
    7. 7.6 Organizational Design Considerations
    8. 7.7 The Informal Organization
    9. 7.8 Trends in Organizational Structure
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  9. 8 Managing Human Resources and Labor Relations
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 Achieving High Performance through Human Resources Management
    3. 8.2 Employee Recruitment
    4. 8.3 Employee Selection
    5. 8.4 Employee Training and Development
    6. 8.5 Performance Planning and Evaluation
    7. 8.6 Employee Compensation and Benefits
    8. 8.7 The Labor Relations Process
    9. 8.8 Managing Grievances and Conflicts
    10. 8.9 Legal Environment of Human Resources and Labor Relations
    11. 8.10 Trends in Human Resource Management and Labor Relations
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  10. 9 Motivating Employees
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Early Theories of Motivation
    3. 9.2 The Hawthorne Studies
    4. 9.3 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
    5. 9.4 McGregor's Theories X and Y
    6. 9.5 Herzberg's Motivator-Hygiene Theory
    7. 9.6 Contemporary Views on Motivation
    8. 9.7 From Motivation Theory to Application
    9. 9.8 Trends in Employee Motivation
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  11. 10 Achieving World-Class Operations Management
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 Production and Operations Management—An Overview
    3. 10.2 The Production Process: How Do We Make It?
    4. 10.3 Location, Location, Location: Where Do We Make It?
    5. 10.4 Pulling It Together: Resource Planning
    6. 10.5 Production and Operations Control
    7. 10.6 Looking for a Better Way: Improving Production and Operations
    8. 10.7 Transforming the Factory Floor with Technology
    9. 10.8 Trends in Production and Operations Management
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  12. 11 Creating Products and Pricing Strategies to Meet Customers' Needs
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 The Marketing Concept
    3. 11.2 Creating a Marketing Strategy
    4. 11.3 Developing a Marketing Mix
    5. 11.4 Buyer Behavior
    6. 11.5 Market Segmentation
    7. 11.6 What Is a Product?
    8. 11.7 Creating Products That Deliver Value
    9. 11.8 The Product Life Cycle
    10. 11.9 Pricing Strategies and Future Trends
    11. 11.10 Trends in Developing Products and Pricing
    12. Key Terms
    13. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    14. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    15. Ethics Activity
    16. Working the Net
    17. Critical Thinking Case
    18. Hot Links Address Book
  13. 12 Distributing and Promoting Products and Services
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 The Nature and Functions of Distribution (Place)
    3. 12.2 Wholesaling
    4. 12.3 The Competitive World of Retailing
    5. 12.4 Using Supply Chain Management to Increase Efficiency and Customer Satisfaction
    6. 12.5 Promotion Strategy
    7. 12.6 The Huge Impact of Advertising
    8. 12.7 The Importance of Personal Selling
    9. 12.8 Sales Promotion
    10. 12.9 Public Relations Helps Build Goodwill
    11. 12.10 Trends in Social Media
    12. 12.11 Trends in E-Commerce
    13. Key Terms
    14. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    15. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    16. Ethics Activity
    17. Working the Net
    18. Critical Thinking Case
    19. Hot Links Address Book
  14. 13 Using Technology to Manage Information
    1. Introduction
    2. 13.1 Transforming Businesses through Information
    3. 13.2 Linking Up: Computer Networks
    4. 13.3 Management Information Systems
    5. 13.4 Technology Management and Planning
    6. 13.5 Protecting Computers and Information
    7. 13.6 Trends in Information Technology
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  15. 14 Using Financial Information and Accounting
    1. Introduction
    2. 14.1 Accounting: More than Numbers
    3. 14.2 The Accounting Profession
    4. 14.3 Basic Accounting Procedures
    5. 14.4 The Balance Sheet
    6. 14.5 The Income Statement
    7. 14.6 The Statement of Cash Flows
    8. 14.7 Analyzing Financial Statements
    9. 14.8 Trends in Accounting
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  16. 15 Understanding Money and Financial Institutions
    1. Introduction
    2. 15.1 Show Me the Money
    3. 15.2 The Federal Reserve System
    4. 15.3 U.S. Financial Institutions
    5. 15.4 Insuring Bank Deposits
    6. 15.5 International Banking
    7. 15.6 Trends in Financial Institutions
    8. Key Terms
    9. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    10. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    11. Ethics Activity
    12. Working the Net
    13. Critical Thinking Case
    14. Hot Links Address Book
  17. 16 Understanding Financial Management and Securities Markets
    1. Introduction
    2. 16.1 The Role of Finance and the Financial Manager
    3. 16.2 How Organizations Use Funds
    4. 16.3 Obtaining Short-Term Financing
    5. 16.4 Raising Long-Term Financing
    6. 16.5 Equity Financing
    7. 16.6 Securities Markets
    8. 16.7 Buying and Selling at Securities Exchanges
    9. 16.8 Trends in Financial Management and Securities Markets
    10. Key Terms
    11. Summary of Learning Outcomes
    12. Preparing for Tomorrow's Workplace Skills
    13. Ethics Activity
    14. Working the Net
    15. Critical Thinking Case
    16. Hot Links Address Book
  18. 17 Your Career in Business
    1. Introduction
    2. 17.1 Learn the Basics of Business
    3. 17.2 Developing Interpersonal Skills Is Key to Your Success
    4. 17.3 Make Your Future Happen: Learn to Plan
    5. 17.4 Going to College Is an Opportunity of a Lifetime—Never Drop Out
    6. 17.5 Get Your Career Off on the Right Track
    7. 17.6 Self-Test Scoring Guidelines
  19. A | Understanding the Legal and Tax Environment
  20. Index
  21. References
  1. How do small businesses contribute to the U.S. economy?

Although large corporations dominated the business scene for many decades, in recent years small businesses have once again come to the forefront. Downsizings that accompany economic downturns have caused many people to look toward smaller companies for employment, and they have plenty to choose from. Small businesses play an important role in the U.S. economy, representing about half of U.S. economic output, employing about half the private sector workforce, and giving individuals from all walks of life a chance to succeed.

What Is a Small Business?

How many small businesses are there in the United States? Estimates range from 5 million to over 22 million, depending on the size limits government agencies and other groups use to define a small business or the number of businesses with or without employees. The Small Business Administration (SBA) established size standards to define whether a business entity is small and therefore eligible for government programs and preferences that are reserved for “small businesses.” Size standards are based on the types of economic activity or industry, generally matched to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).10

Small businesses are defined in many ways. Statistics for small businesses vary based on criteria such as new/start-up businesses, the number of employees, total revenue, length of time in business, nonemployees, businesses with employees, geographic location, and so on. Due to the complexity and need for consistent statistics and reporting for small businesses, several organizations are now working together to combine comprehensive data sources to get a clear and accurate picture of small businesses in the United States. Table 5.4 provides a more detailed look at small-business owners.

Snapshot of Small-Business Owners
  • Start-up activity has risen sharply over the last three years, from an all-time low of minus 0.87% in 2013 to positive 0.48% in 2016.
  • Between 1996 and 2011, the rate of business ownership dropped for both men and women; however, business ownership has increased every year since 2014.
  • The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, an early indicator of new entrepreneurship in the United States, rose again slightly in 2016 following sharp increases two years in a row.
  • New entrepreneurs who started businesses to pursue opportunity rather than from necessity reached 86.3%, more than 12 percentage points higher than in 2009 at the height of the Great Recession.
  • For the first time, Main Street entrepreneurship activity was higher in 2016 than before the onset of the Great Recession. This increase was driven by a jump in business survival rates, which reached a three-decade high of 48.7%. Nearly half of new businesses are making it to their fifth year of operation.
  • 47% of U.S. businesses have been in business for 11 or more years.
  • In 2016, about 25% of all employing firms had revenues over $1 million, but 2% had revenues under $10,000.
Table 5.4 Sources: “The Kauffman Index: Main Street Entrepreneurship: National Trends,” http://www.kauffman.org, November 2016; “Kauffman Index of Startup Activity, 2016 (calculations based from CPS, BDS, and BED),” http://www.kauffman.org; “America’s Entrepreneurs: September 2016,” https://www.census.gov; “Nearly 1 in 10 Businesses with Employees Are New, According to Inaugural Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs,” https://www.census.gov, September 1, 2016.

One of the best sources to track U.S. entrepreneurial growth activity is the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Kauffman Foundation is among the largest private foundations in the country, with an asset base of approximately $2 billion, and focuses on projects that encourage entrepreneurship and support education through grants and research activities. They distributed over $17 million in grants in 2013.11

The Kauffman Foundation supports new business creation in the United States through two research programs. The annual Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship series measures and interprets indicators of U.S. entrepreneurial activity at the national, state, and metropolitan level. The foundation also contributes to the cost of the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), which is a public–private partnership between the foundation, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Minority Business Development Agency. The ASE provides annual data on select economic and demographic characteristics of employer businesses and their owners by gender, ethnicity, race, and veteran status.12 The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurship series is an umbrella of annual reports that measures how people and businesses contribute to America’s overall economy. What is unique about the Kauffman reports is that the indexes don’t focus on only inputs (as most small-business reporting has been done in the past); it reports primarily on entrepreneurial outputs—the actual results of entrepreneurial activity, such as new companies, business density, and growth rates. The reports also include comprehensive, interactive data visualizations that enable users to slice and dice a myriad of data nationally, at the state level, and for the 40 largest metropolitan areas.13

The Kauffman Index series consists of three in-depth studies—Start-up Activity, Main Street Entrepreneurship, and Growth Entrepreneurship.

  • The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity is an early indicator of new entrepreneurship in the United States. It focuses on new business creation activity and people engaging in business start-up activity, using three components: the rate of new entrepreneurs, the opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, and start-up density.
  • The Kauffman Index of Main Street Entrepreneurship measures established small-business activity—focusing on U.S. businesses more than five years old with less than 50 employees from 1997 to 2016. Established in 2015, it takes into account three components of local, small-business activity: the rate of businesses owners in the economy, the five-year survival rate of businesses, and the established small-business density.
  • The Kauffman Growth Entrepreneurship Index is a composite measure of entrepreneurial business growth in the United States that captures growth entrepreneurship in all industries and measures business growth from both revenue and job perspectives. Established in 2016, it includes three component measures of business growth: rate of start-up growth, share of scale-ups, and high-growth company density.

Data sources for the Kauffman Index calculations are based on Current Population Survey (CPS), with sample sizes of more than 900,000 observations, and the Business Dynamics Statistics (BDS), which covers approximately 5 million businesses. The Growth Entrepreneurship Index also includes Inc. 500/5000 data).

Small businesses in the United States can be found in almost every industry, including services, retail, construction, wholesale, manufacturing, finance and insurance, agriculture and mining, transportation, and warehousing. Established small businesses are defined as companies that have been in business at least five years and employ at least one, but less than 50, employees. Table 5.5 provides the number of employees by the size of established business. More than half of small businesses have between one and four employees.

Number of Employees, by Percentage of Established Small Businesses
Established small businesses are defined as businesses over the age of five employing at least one, but less than 50, employees.
Number of Employees Percentage of Businesses
1–4 employees 53.07%
5–9 employees 23.23%
10–19 employees 14.36%
20–49 employees 9.33%
Table 5.5 Source: Kauffman Foundation calculations from Business Dynamics Statistics, yearly measures. November 2016.

Concept Check

  1. What are three ways small businesses can be defined?
  2. What social and economic factors have prompted the rise in small business?
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