The life of an entrepreneur can be challenging, intimidating and nerve-wracking. Many people who try their hand at their own business struggle, and many more don't even get the courage to start at all. 

This is unfortunate, because current entrepreneurs are having success, and easy access to commercial loans as well as a plethora of affordable tools have made it easier than ever to form a startup. Recently, a Cox Business survey found that a good number of U.S. entrepreneurs are optimistic about their future, indicating that this type of company has a vital role to play in the country's economic growth for some time to come.

Optimism, social media common trends for firms
For the 2014 Cox Business Barometer survey, Cox Communications polled more than 600 small-business owners and managers. Roughly 40 percent had yearly sales of more than $250,000, and 55 percent had been entrepreneurs for at least 10 years. The results indicated that optimism was a common trend, as was a dependence on social media marketing.

"By many estimates, small businesses have generated 65 percent of the net new jobs since 1995, so their success plays an enormous role in the overall economic direction of our country," said Steve Rowley, senior vice president of Cox Business. "For the second consecutive year, our survey has found that business owners are expressing optimism about their own future, which means they are taking the right steps to increase efficiency and service, and engage customers in ways that drive revenue."

In addition, respondents noted that email was the most useful tool for customer engagement, followed by phone, in-person events and social marketing. Facebook is the most popular social media site.

Facebook can help a small business
It should come as no surprise that Facebook is a popular option for entrepreneurs across the U.S. This site is widely used and incredibly useful for a financial plan, and its reach and prominence make it an ideal resource to connect with current and potential customers.

According to Mashable, the first thing an entrepreneur should do once on Facebook is research his or her competitors. Their pages can say a lot about the companies, and provide useful insights into a possible strategy. It can also help to scan over their posts, videos and photos to see how they have utilized Facebook. Moreover, it may be beneficial to create a business fan page. Here, users can register as a fan of the company, which will help grow the enterprise and improve marketing.