To scale your business whatever size it’s important to know your landscape. These two graphs and table will give you a head start in understanding the US business market and you can decide what’s small. I’ve ignored the 21.4 million non payroll solo entrepreneurs from this analysis and instead concentrated on the 5.9m firms that employ 120m employees.

Now take a look at how firms with only 9 employees or less dominate the landscape of firms:

If you like tables here are the hard facts from the US Census Data analyzed for significance with some conclusions:


  1. Firms which employ 749 employees or less make up 52.4% of the 120m employed or 63.3m.
  2. If you employ 10 people or more you are in the top 21.29% of firms.
  3. If you employ 20 people or more you are in the top 10.71% of firms.
  4. If you employ 100 people or more you are in the top 1.84% of firms.
  5. 32.9 % of the US are employed by 1,956 very big firms.
  6. 34.9 % of the US are employed by quite small firms employing 99 people or less.
  7. The statement “Small firms employ the majority of the workforce in the US” is ONLY true if you define small as employing around 500 or less.
  8. As you scale your company it’s worth noting the rarity of firms employing 20 or more – 635,162 out of 5.9m
  9. And not shown here but out of that 5.9m firms only 5000 to 6000 firms sell out for $10m or more in any calendar year, that’s 1/1000 odds. So successful scaling isn’t easy and is actually quite rare!
  10. And the 10th conclusion – maybe you need help with scaling!