During the Great Recession, it was clear that small businesses were hit the hardest, but take a look around America and it’s obvious smaller firms are finally getting their groove back.
Small business owners are growing increasingly more optimistic. According to the 2016 State of Small Business Report by Wasp Barcode Technologies, 71 percent of small business owners say they expect to increase revenue this year.
Not only do small businesses drive economic growth, they also keep people employed, creating two out of every three jobs in the U.S. According to the State of Small Business Report, half of all small businesses plan to hire new employees this year–up from 38 percent in 2015. Combine these factors with the fact that more and more people want to work for themselves rather than any other kind of traditional employment, there’s something really exciting happening with small business growth in America.
Three indicators suggest the small business landscape is about to be transformed:
1. One person and $1 million in sales
At the prime age of 28, Joey Healy has brought in more than $1 million in sales for his business all by himself. In 2009, Healy started his brow styling business by traveling to apartments in wealthy Manhattan neighborhoods for appointments. He quickly found demand for his skills was so high (also thanks to recent fashion eyebrow trends) that he was able to start charging $115 per session. A profit-sharing arrangement with a spa, Completely Bare, and brow products followed that all together would make up the extremely successful business that is now Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio.
Recently, Healy teamed up with hair-removal specialist Spruce & Bond to train eight of its employees and to launch brow services at Spruce & Bond studios. The new partnership makes up 10 percent of Healy’s revenue.
Healy’s impressive story is not the only one. There’s 27-year-old Allen Walton who brings in seven figures for his online store, SpyGuySecurity.com, which he runs from his home in Dallas. And there’s Robert Smith, who brought in $1.4 million in 2014 from the Illinois public relations firm that bears his name. Finally, there’s Harry Ein who projects $4 million in revenue this year for his one-person business, Perfection Promo, which provides promotional swag to corporations—all done from his three-car garage at his house in Walnut Creek, California.
Examples of solopreneurs hitting and exceeding $1 million in sales without any employees by their side have been on an upward trend in recent years. In the most recent data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 30,174 “nonemployer” firms that brought in $1 million to $2,499,999 in 2013, up from 29,494 in 2012 and 26,744 in 2011. The top categories for these businesses were professional, scientific and technical services, followed by retail businesses.
What’s enabled this rise of the one-person million dollar business? It could be the fact that small business owners’ optimism jumped this year, so people are feeling good about starting new businesses and investing.