Small Business Owners – Not All the Same

April 17, 2008

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Household Income | Local & Directories / Small Biz

The more businesses a person owns, the higher his or her income, education level, and loan amounts and mortgage, finds an Experian study of small-business owners – sole business owners and multi-business owners.

Findings were compiled from Experian’s demographic data of consumers and small business owners.

Profile of the Small Business Owner

Compared with the overall population, small business owners are more likely to…

  • Be married and have children
  • Have a college education
  • Earn income greater than $75,000
  • Live in a higher-value home, especially those valued at $300,000 or more, in creditworthy areas.
  • Donate to environmental and political causes

Sole-business owners (compared with multi-business owners) are more likely to…

  • Have an income below $35,000 (30% more likely)
  • Reside in lower-wealth, less-metropolitan, less-creditworthy areas – and in female-headed households (47% more likely)
  • Have a relatively strong interest in religion, self-improvement, children’s products, crafts and automotive work and a preference for gospel and country music.
  • Fall into blue-collar and agricultural occupations (32% more likely)
  • Be price-conscious and buy American-made products

Multi-business owners, compared with sole-business owners and the overall population, are more likely to…

  • Have household incomes greater than $125,000 – 41% more likely
  • Have higher home-purchase loan amounts (>$200,000) – relative to sole-business owners
  • Reside in the highest wealth and creditworthy areas (47% more so)
  • Have undergraduate and graduate degrees (26% more so)
  • Be classified into professional and technical occupations (22% more likely)
  • Have “work hard, play hard” attitudes (38% more likely) and to show interest in cultural arts, books, golf, music, skiing, tennis and foreign travel
  • Favor donating to environmental and political causes – 24% more likely

Behaviors of Business Owners

Business owners are less likely to be “under-banked” – having one trade or less on their consumer credit report – than the average consumer population, Experian found.

Fully 33% of the US population (including recent immigrants, recent college graduates, those with generational credit bias or military/transitory lifestyles) have little or no personal credit, but only 11% of sole-business owners and just 8% of multibusiness owners fall into the under-banked category.

The more businesses owned, the less likely to be under-banked:


Multibusiness owners do not solely operate within one industry, showing a willingness to venture into other fields:


And with each new business, the average amount of time it takes to establish the new business shrinks:


  • It takes sole-business owners an average of 8.66 years to open the second business.
  • Owners with three businesses, however, established the third one 3.15 years after the second, and those with four opened their most recent business a little over one year later.

About the study: Experian analyzed proprietary data from its INSOURCE consumer demographic database of approximately 230 million consumers and 113 million living units, and Business Owner Link (a segment of their national business database) with information on more than 3 million small-business owners. Multibusiness and sole-business owners were compared by SIC codes. The random sample of 761,064 multi-owners matched 81.6% the INSOURCE Database; the sample of 500,470 sole-business owners had a match rate of 83.3%. The following business-specific elements were also incorporated into the analysis: SIC code, number of employees, annual sales, years in business, Market Intelliscore and Commercial Intelliscore.

45th Parallel Design Ad

Explore More Charts.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This