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2015 Success Study

Small Business Success
and Optimism Rev Up,
Focus on Growth Stalls

According to The Hartford’s fifth annual Small Business Success Study, fewer small business owners are focused on growing their business than they were four years ago:

 Small Business Success Study

More of them feel that their business is operating successfully than in 2011:

 Small Business Success Study

And business owners feel optimistic about the economy strengthening this year:

Small Business Success Study

Business owners remain risk averse

Their overall level of risk taking has remained relatively flat: 

Small Business Success Study

And the majority of small business owners continue to say the number of risks they took over the past six month period have remained the same:

 Small Business Success Study

What makes a small business owner successful?

Highly successful small business owners are more likely to do the following things compared to those who feel slightly or not at all successful:

Small Business Success Study

Small business owners: "I want it my way!"

And when we asked small business owners select their top theme song, here’s what they told us:

 Small Business Success Study

The Hartford’s fifth annual Small Business Success Study is part of the company’s ongoing research to better understand the current mindset of small business owners and how they view success.


Braun Research conducted a telephone survey among small business owners across the United States on behalf of The Hartford. A total of 2,003 interviews were completed with small business owners of for-profit businesses with fewer than 100 full-time employees who have been in business for at least one year. The study included a nation¬ally representative sample of businesses in the United States. One owner, co-owner, principle owner or sole owner per business was interviewed. The interviews were conducted between July 7-16, 2015. The margin of error is ± 2.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

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2015 Small Business Pulse Survey

Is a small business owner the same as an entrepreneur? The Hartford's 2015 Small Business Pulse Survey revealed 61% of respondents believe there's a difference.

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