Many Small Business “Firsts” and Memorable Milestones Revolve Around Technology

We recently partnered with Dell, a worldwide provider of innovative technology and business solutions, on a survey that reveals that money is not the main driver for small business success. We knew small business owners were a passionate bunch and the research shows it. Personal achievement (37 percent) outranks financial stability (28 percent) as the top motivation behind becoming a successful business owner.

“Becoming an entrepreneur has always been a lifelong dream,” said Carol Todorovich, owner of Healthy Café Creations. “I’ve experienced much success throughout my journey, but my first repeat customer was the biggest milestone as a small business owner; that repeat business gave me the confidence and hope that my business would thrive. Manta and Dell, both true advocates for small business, have helped me grow my business by establishing and increasing my online presence and supporting my technology needs.”

Recognition is a clear motivator for business owners with 29 percent reporting their proudest business moment was the first time their company received an award.  Repeat business also proves to be a significant factor in the life of small business owner – nearly four in ten (37 percent) entrepreneurs say their first repeat customer was the most important milestone for their business. This is a significant point, because small business owners are beginning to shift their focus from acquiring new customers, to retention and loyalty from current customers.

Behind the Scenes: The Role of Technology for Small Business

Many significant small business “firsts” and major milestones revolve around technology.

Of the many accomplishments business owners achieve throughout their lifecycle, over half (54 percent) say launching their business website was their most significant technology milestone.

“Small businesses are a critical component of our economy and are the building blocks of business growth, which is why Dell is dedicated to providing entrepreneurs with support every step of the way,” said Jennifer Warner, Director of Small Business Marketing at Dell. “By collaborating with Manta, a true expert in small business, we’re able to fuel small business innovation by providing technologies that align with long-term goals of entrepreneurs.”

One Step at a Time: Small Business “Firsts” and Milestones

When first inspired to start a business, the majority of those surveyed were either at their previous job (49 percent) or kitchen table (16 percent).  According to the survey, networking ranked as the number one step that small businesses took when getting started.

However, networking as a first step is most common with businesses in technology and communications industries. Businesses in the public sector and healthcare are the most likely to sit down and write a business plan; while businesses focused on food and beverage and the industrial space are the most likely to get started by purchasing equipment like phones, computers and printers.

Would They Do It Again?

Yes! The majority (76 percent) of small business owners are open to starting another business and nearly three-quarters (74 percent) are dedicated to either expanding or maintaining a successful business.

“Manta is committed to helping business owners succeed – regardless of whether they are just getting started or striving to reach a major business milestone,” said John Swanciger, CEO of Manta. “We continue to collaborate with Dell to drive small business growth and success – together, we’re dedicated to providing true value to the small business community, supporting them with the tools and technologies they need for their businesses to thrive.”

Check out the infographic we put together with more nuggets of goodness from small business owners all about the lifecycle of their business.



  1. says

    I awoke at 3am almost 5 years ago with a brain storm, got up and went to the computer and started researching my idea. My company has become a passion for me. I have given up fishing, gardening and woodworking. I WAS retired at the time of the brainstorm. It has been a great ride. I have developed my product and others and now have a building, a plant manager, and a product which is awaiting certification by the Solar Rating and Certification Corporation(SRCC). I have begun marketing ahead of that certification and am looking forward to some interesting twists and turns in the months to come. My product is unique and required a great deal of research and development to get it built. BTW, I was told I would never get it built. So much for the pundits. I only wish it was easier and less costly to bring a product to market.

  2. says

    I started my business 27 years ago. No internet or email or social media. So a lot has changed. But I think that the motivations of small business owners are still the same. I like to see we are interested in personal achievement and happy customers. It is a scramble to stay current with technology but fundamentally it is all about good relationships with people. Thanks for the survey. CEO SBO good at SEO.

    • says


      I started my business back in 1973 and I just entered into my own Farmers Agency last September so I have the same conception of enjoying client relationships. So thanks!


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