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Microbusiness Owners Invest in Their Website First

Microbusiness Owners Invest in Their Website First

Published 12-08-23

Submitted by GoDaddy

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As originally published by GoDaddy’s Venture Forward research initiative

The big fact: Investing in a website pays off for entrepreneurs. According to GoDaddy’s Venture Forward research initiative, the most popular way *microbusiness owners spend their first dollars is by creating a website (28%), and it pays off.  For instance, 70% of surveyed microbusiness owners said their website provides them with a source of income, with 18% of microbusiness owners responding that their website is the second-most common place to make a first sale.

How were the first dollars invested into the business?

Entire Sample (N=3,525)

Creating my website28%
Obtaining Licenses/permits/taxes24%
Developing new products/services14%
Marketing my business online (social media, ads, promotions, etc.)12%
Marketing my business using traditional media (print, radio, tv, promotions, etc.)7%
Finding office/retail space6%
Hiring employees2%
Hiring a consultant1%

Source: GoDaddy Venture Forward US National Survey, August 2023 (N=3,525)

Jan Grieco, owner of Great North Woods Teas & Herbs participated in the Empower by GoDaddy program, where she learned how to build a website. Jan shared, “Now, every time I go to the farmer’s market, people say, ‘My friend told me about your web page, so I looked it up and had to come and find you!’ The fact that we’re gaining awareness for what we do because of our website is really good.”

Chart showing the dollars invested in a business.

First challenges: While microbusiness owners prioritize investment in developing a website to support their ventures, challenges still persist. According to Venture Forward research, the third most popular challenge microbusiness owners face when first starting is marketing their business online (42%), followed by getting access to financial capital (23%), and getting their business website online (22%).

Understanding these challenges can help advocates for small businesses provide entrepreneurs the necessary tools and resources they need for a more successful business. For example, Empower by GoDaddy, launched in 2017, is a global social impact program that partners locally with nonprofits and community organizations to understand the unique barriers entrepreneurs from underserved communities face and provide them with digital tools, training, networking and mentorship to accelerate their business journeys.

The research: GoDaddy’s Venture Forward research initiative analyzes more than 20 million online businesses with a digital presence (measured by a unique domain and an active website). Most of these businesses employ fewer than ten people, categorizing each as a microbusiness. While these *microbusinesses may be small, their impact on economies is outsized even though they are often too informal or too new to show up in traditional government statistics.

Since 2018, Venture Forward surveyed more than 30,000 small business owners with a digital presence, making it the source for microbusiness data and insights.

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GoDaddy is empowering everyday entrepreneurs around the world by providing all of the help and tools to succeed online. GoDaddy is the place people come to name their idea, build a professional website, attract customers, sell their products and services, and manage their work. Our mission is to give our customers the tools, insights and the people to transform their ideas and personal initiative into success. To learn more about the company, visit

About GoDaddy for Good

GoDaddy focuses on making opportunity more inclusive for all in the communities where we work, live and play across the globe. We rally behind inclusive entrepreneurship and other critical local needs that empower people to succeed through philanthropic and in-kind donations, volunteerism, strategic partnerships and advocacy.

Empower by GoDaddy 

Empower by GoDaddy is GoDaddy's global community and philanthropic program equipping entrepreneurs in underserved communities with training, tools and peer networks to accelerate their journeys. GoDaddy rallies behind entrepreneurs in underserved communities by building their confidence and skills to strengthen their small business’ digital presence.  Entrepreneurs engage in customized learning experiences, work 1-1 with GoDaddy volunteer coaches and local mentors, and gain access to wrap-around services, in-kind products and networks boosting their small businesses success.

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