Revealing insights come from the new Amex Trendex: Small Business Edition from American Express, which found that even as small business owners surveyed face continued economic uncertainty, their personal drive and long-term aspirations are buoying their optimism. 

Gina Taylor Cotter, executive vice president and general manager, Small Business Products & Business Blueprint at American Express, points out the survey reveals that that growing up with technology and social media has influenced how Millennials and Gen-Zers operate as small business owners: they are more likely to start a company right out of school and rely on technology to run their business.

Amidst pricing and cash flow forecasting concerns, small business owners’ drive and long-term aspirations keep them motivated. 

Pricing/price hikes (44%) and cash flow forecasting (35%) are small business owner respondents’ top concerns, which is consistent with Amex Trendex findings over the past year. Nearly 7-in-10 (68%) wish that they had more time to focus on their product/service vs. managing their businesses’ finances. But small business owners have a positive mindset despite these challenges: 95% of those surveyed are happy with their decision to start their company. 

The Amex Trendex report found that small business owners are motivated by their long-term ambitions. Six-in-ten respondents (60%) expect their business to be a long-term venture and run for more than five years. When asked about their long-term business goals, longevity rose to the top (49%), followed by becoming an established leader in their industry (32%) and growing their employee base (24%).

As for why owners chose to start their small businesses: more than eight-in-ten respondents (84%) were inspired by a personal passion; nearly two-thirds (65%) saw a need in their community; about six-in-ten (59%) want to support their family and future generations; and over four-in-ten (44%) needed more flexible work.

The survey suggests that growing up with technology and social media influences how Millennials and Gen-Zers take to small business ownership.