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Survey: 25% of Americans Own a Side Business

What's Hot in Small Business – Chris Crum
Chris Crum writes for Small Business Resources about what's new for small business. Chris was a featured writer with the iEntry Network of B2B Publications where hundreds of publications linked to his articles including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, LA Times and the New York Times.

Survey: 25% of Americans Own a Side Business

Survey: 25% of Americans Own a Side Business

The Hartford recently released the results of a survey from a nationally representative sample of 4,135 adults in the United States. It found that 25 percent have some sort of side business. Most of those who do own a side business have full-time jobs, and the main reason they started their business was for financial gain, although a small percentage did so simply to pursue a passion.

Stephanie Bush with The Hartford, said "Small businesses of all sizes play a vital role in the American economy and within our local communities. We were somewhat surprised to see how many Americans are operating side businesses largely to generate extra income, yet most are uninsured. These survey results highlight the need to ensure that small business owners have access to resources to understand when insurance protection makes economic sense.”

According to the survey's findings, nearly half of those who own side businesses (49 percent) spend on average 10 hours or less per week on their business. 61 percent are employed full-time by someone else. Of those that do have a full-time job, 51 percent said they have used at least some of their vacation time or paid time off to work on their side business.

The survey indicates that 38 percent of baby boomers are most likely to own a side business compared to younger generations. For Generation X, the number is 33 percent, and for Millennials, it's 26 percent. Sixty-one percent of respondents across all generations indicated that the primary reason they started their side business was for financial reasons. Sixteen percent said they started their side business to make a lifestyle change, and nine percent said it was to pursue a passion.

Forty-three percent of those surveyed indicated that they typically generate less than $5,000 of income per year from their side business. Eighteen percent generate between $5,000 and $10,000, while another 18 percent generate between $10,000 and $30,000.

Only 27 percent of side business owners believe their side business can eventually become their full-time job, and 33 percent think it's highly unlikely. Why? Forty-eight percent responded, "I don't think I can make a living at this business." Thirty-three percent said they cannot afford to give up the income from their full-time job. Twenty-seven percent said they can't give up the benefits of their full-time job. Twenty-three percent said they like their full-time job and don't actually want to give it up, and 13 percent said they don't have the time to dedicate to the side business.

The survey asked participants whether or not they have insurance for their side businesses. Only 12 percent responded in the affirmative, with most indicating that they don't think they need it. Forty-four percent said they don't need business insurance, while 18 percent said their business is too small to warrant buying it. Eleven percent said they are already protected by their current home or auto insurance.

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