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71 small business stats for 2024

Small Business Stats
Topics
Small business demographics
Small business sales and marketing statistics
Small business revenue statistics
Small business financing statistics
Small business challenges
Final thoughts

Is raising your prices the right move? Should you be investing more in the business right now?

Whether you’re launching a startup or building your e-commerce business, staying on top of the latest small business stats will help you make better decisions.

Pipedrive’s latest State of Sales and Marketing report revealed how small businesses recovered after the pandemic. In this post, we’ll look at the key small business statistics from our report and other trusted resources to help you keep your finger on the pulse of small business trends.


Small business demographics

1. In March 2023, there were over 33 million small businesses (defined by the Office of Advocacy as businesses with 500 employees or fewer) registered in the US. They made up 99.9% of all firms. (US SBA)

Figure 1 Number of Small Businesses


2. Small businesses are big employers. From 1995 to 2021, small businesses created almost 63% of new jobs. (US SBA)

3. European SMEs are also essential. As of March 2020, there were 25 million on the continent, accounting for 99% of all businesses. (European Commission)

3. 52.4% of small employer firms are S-corporations, which can pass income onto shareholders without paying corporate tax. (US SBA)

4. Diversity in business ownership is growing. There were an estimated 140,918 US firms with a majority Black or African American ownership in 2020, up 14 percentage points from 124,004 in 2017. (US Census Bureau)

5. In 2021, people from ethnic minority backgrounds were in charge of 6% of small businesses in the UK. This is an increase from 5.4% in 2018. (GOV.UK, UK Parliament)

6. Women-owned businesses are also employing more people. In March 2023, there were approximately 1.2 million women-owned employer firms. These businesses represented 21.4% of all employers, slightly up from 19.7% in 2017. (US SBA; Census Bureau, Census Bureau)

7. There was also a positive shift in the UK. Women were leading 20.5% of companies in 2022. This was an increase from 16% in 2018. (NatWest Group)

8. If you started a small business in 2007, there’s a one in four chance it’s still operating. The survival rate for a business to last five years is just over one-third (35%). (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

9. What are the chances of a small business surviving for more than a year? Out of the nearly 840,000 establishments that opened in March 2021, around 666,000 were still open in March 2022. This makes the success rate for first-year companies approximately 80%. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

10. In the UK, first-year business survival rates were higher. Enterprises established in 2020 had a 93% chance of survival in the following year. (Statista.com)

Enterprise Birth line graph


11. Findings on the percentage of small businesses in the US are similar in the UK. Small or medium-sized businesses (SMEs) employing 0 to 249 people contribute a lot to the economy, comprising over 99% of all businesses (approximately 5.5 million). (GOV.UK BEIS 2022)

12. The number of employees for the average small business was around 12 in the US. In contrast, large firms averaged 3,297 employees. (US SBA)

13. In the UK, SMEs contribute majorly to the number of people in work. They were responsible for 61% of employment. (GOV.UK BEIS 2022)

14. In 2020, European SMEs provided two out of three jobs (67%). This represented around 100 million people in work. (European Commission)


Small business sales and marketing statistics

1. Sales and marketing teams are more successful when they work in partnership. 2021 figures show that companies with well-integrated sales and marketing were 26% more likely to say their revenue exceeded forecasts. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

2. The right tools can make a big difference to small business growth. 85% of companies between 2021 and 2022 used CRM software to track sales, and of those, 74% grew more compared to the previous year. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

Compared to last year my company


3. Automation is another popular solution, with 74% of marketers using automation tools or technology. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

4. Automation software helps salespeople and marketers with a variety of tasks. In particular, respondents were most likely to automate:

  • Maintaining and updating sales data and customer notes (36%)

  • Activity-based workflows (33%)

  • Lead generation (27%)

  • Email marketing campaigns (27%)

(Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

5. Marketing spend is proving to be a worthy use of budget. 78% of respondents reported an average, good or very good return on their marketing investment in 2021. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

6. The most popular digital marketing channels are:

  • Social media marketing (69%)

  • Email marketing (61%)

  • Content marketing (52%)

(Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

7. With the pause in face-to-face interactions, 42% of companies invested more in email marketing during the pandemic. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

8. Companies that have automated email marketing campaigns are 13 percentage points more likely to have email marketing as their leading source of ROI. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)


9. In response to new technologies and marketing channels, 48% of small business owners between 2022 and 2023 prioritized digital-first marketing. (Bank of America)


10. Nearly half of small businesses are experimenting with new ways of connecting with customers in 2023, with 49% of respondents planning to implement new advertising and marketing strategies over the next 12 months. (NSBA)

11. In March 2020, a smaller percentage of European SMEs (17%) had adopted digital tech. (European Commission)

12. In 2020, the majority of UK SMEs (75%) said they used social media to market their business. (Statista)

13. 2023 figures prove that social media is here to stay. 48% of UK SMEs state that social media is essential for their business, while 50% plan to spend more on it. (GetApp)

14. In Europe, 50% of all SMEs had invested in new ideas as of March 2020. The European Innovation Council (EIC) put €300 towards business innovation in the following year. (European Commission)


Small business revenue statistics

1. As of 2023, US small businesses account for 43.5% of gross domestic product, an important part of a healthy economy. (US SBA)

2. Small businesses generate a lot of cash flow within the economy. They comprise 39.4% of private sector payroll, a total of $2.9 trillion and were responsible for 35.6% of private sector receipts, a total of $13.3 trillion. (US SBA)

3. UK SMEs also made a big impact. At the start of 2022, they contributed over half (51%) or £2.1 million towards private sector revenue. (GOV.UK BEIS)

4. SMEs in Europe performed similarly in 2020. They contributed 50% of the region’s GDP. (European Commission)

5. Just because you’re a small business, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a global impact. As of March 2023, small businesses made up 32.6% of known exports, a total of $413.3 billion. (US SBA)

6. Black or African American-owned firms brought in an estimated $141.1 billion in gross revenue in 2020, an 11% increase since 2017. (Census Bureau)

7. In the UK, the average annual contribution of ethnic-minority businesses between 2019 and 2020 was £74 billion. This compares to £25 billion in 2018 – an increase of almost 200%. (MSDUK, FSB)

8. Women-owned businesses brought in over $1,851 billion in 2020, a 24% increase since 2017. (Census Bureau)

9. Veteran employers brought in $927 billion in 2020, up from $854 billion in 2017. (Census Bureau)


Small business financing statistics

1. Financing continues to be necessary for US small businesses. 68% applied to a bank for new credit in 2020. (US SBA)

2. The majority of small businesses in the US will be looking for additional financing in 2023. 82% of business owners intend to obtain funding in the upcoming year. (Bank of America)

3. Of the small businesses planning to apply for funding, the most popular method is via business credit cards (54%), while 29% intend to apply for a small business loan from their bank. (Bank of America)

4. In 2021, UK SMEs were also more likely to apply for financial assistance (70%). (GOV.UK BEIS 2021)

5. Over 30% of UK SMEs preferred credit cards, which was the most popular form of financial help. Bank loans and government schemes and grants related to the pandemic were joint second (over 20%). (GOV.UK BEIS 2021)

Forms of external finance used by small businesses.


6. Not every company can borrow what it needs. Today, more than one-third (37%) of small businesses in the US are unable to obtain adequate financing. (NSBA)

Is your business able to obtain adequate financing?


7. Many small businesses needed help to get through the pandemic but this number is dropping. 66% of employer firms received pandemic-related financial assistance in 2021, down from 87% in 2020. (Fed Small Business SBCS)

8. The main reason for requesting financing has changed over the last few years. The number of applicants seeking funds for operating expenses grew from 43% in 2019 to 62% in 2021. (Fed Small Business SBCS)

9. In contrast, those seeking monetary help to fund business expansion fell from 56% in 2019 to 41% in 2021. (Fed Small Businesses SBCS)

10. While most businesses use a bank for financial services, some don’t. Out of those firms, the most common reasons for not using a bank were:

  • The costs or fees were too high (45%)

  • The firm didn’t meet the bank requirements (24%)

  • Banks don’t work with that kind of firm (21%)

(Fed Small Businesses SBCS)

11. Small businesses are getting a growing share of government contracts. 27.23% of contracting dollars went to small businesses in the fiscal year of 2021, up from 26.02% in 2020. (US SBA)


Small business challenges

1. 2020 was a challenging year for small firms in the US. 1.02 million small businesses shut their doors in 2020. That is over 8.6 million small business job losses just in Q2 of 2020. (US SBA)

2. While conditions have improved since 2020, revenue remains below pre-pandemic levels for 63% of firms and employment is lower for 43%. (SBCS)

3. Money continued to be an issue in 2021, with more than half (59%) of businesses reporting being in fair or poor financial condition. (Fed Small Businesses SBCS)

4. The majority of companies were affected. 85% of employer firms experienced financial challenges in the prior 12 months, up nearly 20 percentage points since 2019. (Fed Small Businesses SBCS)

5. In 2023, small business owners are still concerned about the economy. Only 34% believe that the US economy will improve. (Bank of America)

6. 79% of small business owners think inflation is an issue, making it the biggest challenge at present. In contrast, the coronavirus pandemic is now bottom of the list, only mentioned by 30% of respondents. (Bank of America)

7. The majority of small businesses (88%) say that inflation is currently affecting their business. In response, 60% have raised their prices. (Bank of America)

8. For 71% of small businesses, inflation has led to bigger costs for the products and services needed to run, with 58% experiencing a decline in net profit as a result. (NSBA)

9. Businesses in Europe faced their own challenges. In March 2020, only 40% said they received prompt payment for their goods and services. This has resulted in 25% of all SME bankruptcies. (European Commission)

10. 78% of SMEs in Europe cited complicated admin as the biggest hurdle. (European Commission)

11. The good news is that things are on the mend. The percentage of small businesses that said that they had experienced a large negative impact by the pandemic shrunk from 51.4% in April 2020 down to 21.6% in April 2022. (Small Business Pulse)

12. Over half (56%) of small businesses have a positive outlook and see their revenue increasing in 2022. (Bank of America)

13. Business owners are confident this trend will continue. 65% of small companies expect revenue to climb over the next 12 months. (Bank of America)

14. While many are concerned about a potential recession in 2023, 76% of small business owners believe their company is adequately equipped to survive one. (Bank of America)

15. One of the pandemic’s influences was the rise in remote work. 35% of employees with jobs that can be done remotely now work from home full-time. This is down from 55% in October 2020 but up on pre-pandemic levels of 7%. (Pew Research Center)

16. 66% of employees in 2021 said that remote working had a positive impact on their working life, with 46% believing that it had made them more productive. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

17. Some small business owners do not have enough employees. 52% of respondents have been impacted by labor shortages, resulting in 49% of owners working longer hours. (Bank of America)

18. In smaller businesses, CEOs and founders often need to take on extra responsibilities. 57% worked more than 40 hours a week, compared to 50% of salespeople and 40% of marketers. (Pipedrive State of Sales and Marketing)

19. The right tools and techniques can help tackle increased workloads. 80% of small business owners have adopted new digital tools and strategies over the past 12 months. (Bank of America)

20. 35% of small businesses in 2023 are implementing more digital-first marketing strategies, 31% have put an online sales process in place and 25% use a cloud-based platform. (Bank of America)

21. 90% of small business owners say digital tools have increased the efficiency of their business operations. (Bank of America)

22. Artificial intelligence continues to make headlines in 2023. As AI technology gets more popular, 49% of small businesses plan to use automation and AI tools in 2023. (Bank of America)

23. Small businesses rely on a productive and well-trained workforce. 77% of small businesses offer onsite training for specific positions, with 55% investing over 20 hours of on-the-job training. (NSBA)


Final thoughts

Despite their size, small businesses continue to have a big impact on the economy and make up more than 99% of US firms. When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is still plenty to contend with; the effects of the pandemic are receding but new concerns over the economy and inflation have taken their place.

Small business owners are maintaining a positive outlook despite this. By putting in the right safeguards and adopting new technologies, small businesses can continue to grow and remain confident about the future.

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