Here’s the Average Small Business Owner’s Income

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Money is not the only motivation for most business owners.

Key points
Business owners are frequently driven by more than a need to become wealthy.Business owners in high cost of living states often earn more money than their counterparts in low cost of living states.The human touch can go a long way toward growing a business.

Most small business owners will tell you that there’s more to their job than money. While income is important, there’s also the satisfaction of building a business from scratch or taking an existing enterprise to the next level. There’s the fact that they call the shots, taking the business in directions that make sense to them. And then there’s also the thrill of having no boss to answer to other than the customer.

Still, we thought it would be interesting to learn how much the average small business owner earns and if there are any particular businesses that seem to do better than others.

Location matters

The average income for small business owners nationally is a little less than $61,000, but location makes a difference. For example, small business owners in these 10 states earned the most:


Annual Salary

Monthly Pay

Weekly Pay

Hourly Wage

New York





New Hampshire













































Data Source: ZipRecruiter

It may be no coincidence that three of these states are among the 10 most expensive places to live in the U.S., according to the World Population Review. When the cost of goods and services is high, small business owners are likely to earn more money. The problem, of course, is that they must also pay a higher cost of living. It’s all about how much they can keep in their business accounts.

And here are the states where small business owners earn the least:


Annual Salary

Monthly Pay

Weekly Pay

Hourly Wage

North Carolina


















































Data Source: ZipRecruiter

Per the World Population Review, four states from this list are among the 10 least expensive places to live in the U.S. Again, it is probably no coincidence.

Something to keep in mind is that these lists represent businesses of all kinds, from single proprietors working out of their garages to successful small retailers. It also includes businesses in all stages of development, from brand-new to well-established.

Earning more

If you own a small business but are dissatisfied with your current income, here are three things you might want to try. Each is designed to supercharge your current efforts.

1. Nurture current customers

In an attempt to grow your business, it may be tempting to take current customers for granted. Make it a point to remind them that they’re important to the success of your business. There are dozens of ways to do that. Here are a few:

If you snag a great deal on a product, pass some of the savings along to them through special sales for existing customers only.Look for other ways to meet their needs. Let’s say you own a uniform store and supply sports uniforms to a local high school. Offer other products, like printed t-shirts for fans, seat cushions, and gloves with their team logo on them.Keep track of who’s in charge of purchasing and contact them occasionally to ask if there’s anything they need. For example, if you own a small jewelry business, give customers the chance to provide you with important dates, like their anniversary or children’s birthdays. Then, as those dates approach, contact them to see if you can help supply any of their gift needs.2. Protect leads

Not all business owners are particularly good at sales. In fact, many dislike the prospect of asking for business. However, it’s a necessary evil if you want your enterprise to grow. Once you have a lead in hand, don’t give up after one or two contacts. We’re not suggesting that you badger anyone, but keep them in mind as you move forward. This leads to tip No. 3.

3. Offer more than a product or service in return

A business relationship can be more than trading money for a product or service. If you want to stick in the customer’s mind, provide them with information they may not easily find anywhere else. Let’s say you own a cupcake business. Why not provide customers with a delicious recipe every few months? It doesn’t even have to be one of yours.

The best thing about earning more money is that it makes it easier to remain in business and to keep doing what you love.

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