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26 Jul, 2013

University Survey reveals what workers would change if they were the boss


PHOENIX–(BUSINESS WIRE)– July 25, 2013  – According to a recent University of Phoenix survey, more than half (51 percent) of working adults in the U.S. either currently own or want to own their own business. Of those working Americans who do not currently own their own business, 41 percent hope to do so in the future.

Age makes a significant difference as 55 percent of workers in their 20s who don’t currently own a business hope to do so in the future, followed by 48 percent of workers in their 30s and 36 percent in their 40s. Second careering may be leading more workers to also consider entrepreneurship later in their careers. In fact, 39 percent of workers in their 50s and 26 percent of workers age 60 or older who do not own a business, want to do so in the future.

Regionally, workers in Los Angeles and Atlanta are more inclined to be entrepreneurs. Sixty-seven percent of working adults in Los Angeles and 65 percent in Atlanta currently own or want to own a business, significantly higher than the national average (51 percent). The percentages of workers in other select metropolitan areas who either own or want to own their own businesses are as follows: New York City (54 percent), Chicago (54 percent), Dallas-Ft. Worth (51 percent) and San Francisco (48 percent).

The online survey of more than 1,600 U.S. employed adults was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of University of Phoenix in April 2013.

“Being a business owner isn’t easy, but can be very rewarding for those who have done their homework and are educated about the different facets of running a business,” said Dr. Sam Sanders, college chair for University of Phoenix School of Business and a former human resources executive with more than 20 years of experience. “One of the biggest challenges is recognizing what you do not know. Entrepreneurs may have a solid understanding of a niche or industry, but may not have a lot of experience in other aspects of running a business, including strategic planning, marketing, finance, people management, procurement and research and design. Business degree programs and continuing education, along with a variety of free business resources and networking opportunities, can help entrepreneurs fill these gaps and strengthen their business acumen.”

If you were the boss

Eighty percent of working adults identify things that they would do differently if they were in charge of their workplaces. The top change would be providing more training and education opportunities for employees, which was identified by 41 percent of workers. Thirty-seven percent say they would create a more flexible work environment, such a flex hours or working from home. More than one-third (35 percent) say they would rely more on teamwork and collaboration, while 33 percent say they would hire better-qualified employees.

Confidence in leadership

The majority of working adults (78 percent) say they would make a great boss, but those currently in leadership positions are significantly more confident in their abilities. More than 9-in-ten (91 percent) managers, directors and c-level employees say they are or would be a great boss compared to 72 percent of workers in other positions. Eighty-nine percent of managers, directors and c-level employees call their leadership skills “exceptional” compared to 73 percent of other workers.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of workers believe they are smarter than their co-workers. Workers in Atlanta may have the most respect for their co-workers, with only 58 percent saying they are smarter than their co-workers, followed by 65 percent in New York City, 72 percent in San Francisco and 73 percent in Dallas-Ft. Worth. More than three-quarters of workers in Los Angeles (78 percent) and Chicago (76 percent) say they are smarter than their co-workers.

Tips for potential entrepreneurs

“University of Phoenix business students are immersed in a learning model that reflects the dynamics in today’s business environment, which helps prepare them for the challenges they may face when starting their own businesses,” said Sanders. He offers the following recommendations for individuals who want to start a business:

  • Learn how to conduct market research
  • Identify your target audiences and understand what motivates them to act
  • Create a business plan
  • Research and understand funding options for your new business
  • Develop an organization and management structure so your company is poised for growth
  • Don’t operate in a vacuum – network and learn from other successful entrepreneurs

University of Phoenix School of Business offers associate, bachelors and doctoral degree programs with specializations across a wide range of business disciplines, including entrepreneurship, marketing, human resources and finance. For more information about University of Phoenix business programs, visit: http://www.phoenix.edu/business.

Survey Methodology

This Working Adult survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of University of Phoenix between April 18-26, 2013, among 1,616 U.S. adults age 18 or older who are full-time, part-time, or self-employed. The data include oversamples in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth, San Francisco, and Atlanta. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact tanya.burden@apollogrp.edu.