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Start or Grow Your Own Small Business

Sarah Sharkey Updated: February 15, 2024 • 3 min read
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Key Points:

  • 67% of Americans have a small business, do a side hustle, or perform freelance work

  • Another 17% of Americans plan to start a business, side hustle, or take on freelance work in the future

  • 80% of those who started a business did so to increase their income

A recent survey found that 67% of Americans own a small business, run a side hustle, or do freelance work. If you don’t already have a side hustle, you might be dreaming of getting your idea off the ground. Or if you are one of the millions of Americans with an entrepreneurial pursuit, then you might be ready to take your business to the next level.

Let’s explore why Americans side hustle and how you can start or grow your own small business.

One in Three Americans Want to Start Their Own Business

A recent survey conducted by Index by Pinger found that 67% of Americans own a small business, run a side hustle, or do freelance work, which amounts to millions of Americans. Of those surveyed, 17% plan to start a business in the future.

And opting to start their own business doesn’t mean they’ve left their day job. In fact, 75% of those with a side hustle are also an employee of another organization.

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Why Americans Are Choosing to Start Businesses

The impetus to start a side hustle can look a little bit different for everyone. Below is a look at some of the reasons survey respondents chose to start a side hustle:

  • Grow your income. 80% of survey respondents started their small business to increase their income. When you add a new stream of income to your life, you have a chance to significantly grow your income.
  • Learn a new skill. 41% of survey respondents stated their side hustle to learn a new skill. Depending on how it goes, the new skill could take your career in an entirely new direction.
  • Be your own boss. 30% of survey respondents started their small business to become their own boss. When your business can support your lifestyle costs, you might decide to leave traditional employment and the whims of your boss behind for good.

How to Start or Grow a Side Hustle

Whether you want to start or grow a side hustle, consider the following action steps.

  • Identify your skills and passions. As you brainstorm side hustle ideas, look for where your passions and skill set overlap. Ideally, you’ll already have a lucrative skill set to leverage. But if not, you can always learn new skills.
  • Set goals. Determining why you are starting a side hustle in the first place can help you stay the course when you want to quit. For example, you might want to replace your income and leave your day job to be in charge of your own schedule. Or you might want to make an extra $500 per month.

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  • Be realistic about your time. If you have a day job, it’s especially important to be realistic about the amount of time you can commit to your new venture.
  • Make a business plan. Do research to determine the steps you must take to build your business. Try to predict obstacles and brainstorm ways to overcome them.
  • Consider a cash infusion. In some cases, getting a small business off the ground requires some startup capital. If you don’t have the funds available, then a small business loan might provide access to the funds you need. For example, you might use the funds to purchase necessary equipment for your business.

The Bottom Line

Starting a small business can help you transform your financial situation.

But any successful side hustle will require a significant amount of upfront effort to get the ball rolling. And in some cases, you might need an influx of cash to cover startup costs, like necessary equipment for your business.

If you need a small business loan to get the ball rolling, explore the best options today.

Written by Sarah Sharkey linkedin-icon

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer with a Master's in Management from the Hough School of Business at the University of Florida. She enjoys helping people make better financial decisions and has written for numerous personal finance publications, including Money Under 30, Business Insider, and The College Investor. Sarah enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading when she is not writing.