SCORE Small Business Blog

Don’t Dream It – Do It

Are you dreaming of starting a small business of your own? You’re not alone. According to a new study by The UPS Store, almost half (48 percent) of Americans surveyed who have never owned a business dream about starting one, and 21 percent of those who don’t own their own businesses believe they will do so someday.

Why do people want to start their own businesses? “Being my own boss” tops the list, cited by 61 percent, followed closely by the desire to pursue a personal passion (60 percent) and have more flexibility (48 percent). What kind of businesses do they want to start? Not surprisingly, opening a restaurant is the most common business dream (18 percent), followed by starting a clothing/apparel business (7 percent).

The biggest hurdle to startup success, however, isn’t financial—it’s internal. The study also polled existing small business owners who said taking a leap of faith was the hardest part of launching their businesses (36 percent). To get over this hump, 25 percent relied on their own motivation and internal drive, while 20 percent turned to an external support system to get encouragement and inspiration.

Starting a business isn’t fast or easy. But the hard work was worth it: A whopping 71 percent of small business owners say they would start the same business if they had it to do all over again.

So what separates the dreamers from the doers?

  • Dedication. “Have faith in yourself” was the number-one piece of advice small business owners in the study would share with aspiring entrepreneurs. You’ll need faith to get you through the tough times of startup.
  • Planning. Nearly one-third of the entrepreneurs say they spent over five years planning their businesses before taking the plunge, and 51 percent spent over two years in the planning stages. Creating a business plan helps you know where you want to go, and how to get there. Don’t try to wing it.
  • Support. Enlist your friends and family to keep you on track—and turn to the experienced mentors at SCORE for outside advice from experts.

Don’t have a SCORE mentor yet? Visit to get matched with one and get free business advice 24/7.

Rieva LesonskyCEO, GrowBiz Media
Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. | @rieva | More from Rieva

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