7 January 2011

Small Business Owners are the true heroes of our economy

Following up on my New Year’s message I want to express my sincere admiration to those small business owners who really excelled themselves to struggle through the financial crisis.

As a small business owner myself and a proactive networker attending many business events, I have seen the rock-hard impact of the financial crisis at very close range. I have seen the impact on the lives and businesses of many friends and how they reacted to it.
The first industries which were hit within my network were recruiting and IT companies.
Both of them services on which companies will start saving when times are bad.

While lots of large companies have closed their books in the last two years, I have seen lots of small business owners struggle hard to survive, often kicking and screaming. But somehow, despite a record count of folds in 2010, most of them still survived because of their pride and tremendous willpower.
Instead of closing the books they have cut costs, paid extra attention to their customers and invested even more of their personal funds and efforts in their business and marketing.
I personally know at least a few business owners who have chosen to stop paying themselves a wage for a year, creating the necessary cashflow for their business to survive another year.
I would love to see which employee or which CEO of a large company would do the same, if law would even allow it.

On the other hand we have the CEO’s of banks and other large companies who often appeared in the newspapers being laid off with a large bag of money as a goodbye present.
Were those CEO’s overpaid ? If they didn’t get the job done they sure were. But if you can find a good manager who really gets the job done, you should pay him enough. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys to do the job !

The worst part is however the fact that public opinion doesn’t make any difference between small business owners and the CEO’s of large companies they know from the news-bulletins. I often heard people talking bad about business owners, accusing them of getting rich on the backs of their poor employees. They are also widely accused of fraud and avoiding taxes. I just wish they could see the efforts small business owners make each and every day to stay alive, to keep their business alive and viable and to create the necessary jobs for our economy and community to survive.

When attending networking events I always see people profiling themselves as successful managers of their companies, building their credibility. When talking with them in private I often heard those stories of struggling to survive. I think we shouldn’t be ashamed to admit that we fight to survive, for the fact that we simply refuse to choose the easy road and fold, that we fight for the economy to keep on running and for the fact that we are making sure that 2011 is indeed the year that everything kicks back into gear again. All those small business owners are working like ants, moving our economy forward.

Don’t you think our networking efforts would have been more successful if everyone admitted how hard it was in 2009 and 2010 … and everyone would have gone the extra mile to help each other to survive this together. Times of crisis or not, small business owners are always the true heroes of our economy !

1 comment:

  1. Thanks For Sharing.....
    Nice Small Business thoughts and tips added by you...............
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