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Small Biz Owner Salaries Down 5% From 2012: Survey

By Betty Wang, JD | Last updated on

Small business owner salaries are down. According to the Fall 2013 American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor, the average entrepreneur's salary is about $68,300, a 5 percent drop from $72,000 the year before.

But despite the slight decrease, entrepreneurs and small business owners are still adamantly making strides in the race to success.

How so? Here's what the new survey reveals:

Slow but Steady, Numbers Say

Salaries are down, but that's not the only downside to running a small business. The American Express OPEN survey also found that only half of small business owners pay themselves a salary; 14 percent say they need to work a second job in order to make ends meet.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 71 percent of entrepreneurs who use social media use it to attract new customers.
  • There's a decrease (57 percent, down from 71 percent in 2008) in the number of business owners taking their health for granted.
  • Fewer entrepreneurs (59 percent, down from 64 percent in 2007) find it stressful to balance their business with their social life.
  • 94 percent of entrepreneurs (up from 89 percent last year) offer incentives to customers for repeat business.

Tips for Small Business Owners

What can these numbers tell us? In order for small business owners and entrepreneurs to be able to thrive in these times, taking a pay cut may be necessary. However, strategy still goes a long way and can lead to benefits over time.

These are a few of the key themes that the research seems to support:

  • Quality of life. The numbers indicate that many entrepreneurs are taking better care of themselves when it comes to health and maintaining a work-life balance. Remember, taking off a little bit of time off for some much-needed R&R can go a long way.
  • Social media strategy. In this day and age, most people are on social media, which makes it much easier for businesses to reach potential ustomers. This should be used to a business owner's advantage and incorporated into a business plan. Also, it may pay off to hire a social media expert.
  • Customer feedback. A business owner should always keep a customer's feedback in mind when managing and operating his or her business. Customer service and product knowledge are two of the most popular reasons that consumers will return to a small business.

Remember: Even though the economy may not seem like it's in the best shape right now, there is always a way to push through.

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