POWER OF SMALL BUSINESS
by: Cary Christian
Small businesses represent 99 percent of all employers and employ 51 percent
of the private sector work force. Small businesses provide from two-thirds
to three quarters of all new jobs created. Individually, you may be tiny.
Together, you ARE the economy of this nation. That should give you
tremendous power. Why doesn't it?
Rarely a day goes by that small business is not under attack on one front or
another. Sometimes the attacks are deliberate. Sometimes it's just a
function of being misunderstood. Let's look at an example of each.
LET US CLOAK OURSELVES IN PURITY AS WE DO THE DEVIL'S WORK
It's easy to be apathetic. Too easy in our society. We are too often able to
see evil in action yet just cannot seem to get motivated to take steps
against it. There is an extortion plot underway to steal a nice chunk of
your profits! I know your time is valuable and I assure you I have no desire
to waste it, but please take a moment to read these two articles:
The absolute gall of these people! I don't know about you, but all of their
efforts to end sp*m have failed miserably, and always will because spa*mers
do not play by the same rules you and I do. Shut one down and he'll be back
online tomorrow using another email address or, worse, he might even be
relaying through YOUR domain and using YOUR email address! I know that sp*m
in my own mailbox has increased exponentially and continues to do so every
What these organizations have accomplished, however, is to filter out lots
of absolutely legitimate business email. After you read the above articles
(please do!) you know the WHOLE story. It should be crystal clear.
Their cause has not been to combat sp*m, but to get filters in place that
will require YOU, the legitimate small business owner, to pay them to
make sure your REAL business email gets through their filters.
In concept, this thing is so shady, so underhanded, and yes, so EVIL,
that it makes me tremendously angry. Yes, something needs to be done about
sp*m. It's getting to the point where something MUST be done. But
this is not it. This is simply greedy people putting the finishing touches
on their attempt to create a new market that will pad their pockets with
profit. This is a job for governments, not self-serving private
There is also some indication that large businesses might see this as an
opportunity to take back some of the advantages that small business have
gained by virtue of the easy access the Internet offers. For years, the
Internet has helped level the playing field. It would be a shame to see that
advantage watered down.
Our elected leaders need to get off their butts and do something about sp*m
once and for all. Then we won't have to worry about this type of underhanded
garbage. Sp*m hurts all legitimate online businesses. If it's not curbed,
WE will pay the price, not the sp*mmers.
IS ANYBODY LISTENING? HELLO?
Our second example comes from the fact that your government doesn't
understand you or doesn't hear you (or maybe doesn't understand you
BECAUSE they can't hear you!).
Have you been reading about the President's proposed tax changes to assist
small business? Let's look at a couple of facts uncovered by an ABC news
1. The proposed changes are touted as providing an average of $1,083 in
tax savings to 92 million Americans.
While this is true, 80 percent of all tax filers would realize less than
$1,083 in savings, and 50 percent of all tax filers would realize less than
$100 in savings.
2. 23 million small business owners will receive average tax savings of
$2,042 under the plan.
True again, but 79 percent of small businesses would realize less than
$2,042 in savings and 52 percent would realize less than $500 in savings.
What do these findings tell us?
First of all, averages rarely represent good data. You can make numbers
support any position you want to take. In this case, averages sound good so
averages it is!
In each of the above scenarios, tax savings realized by high income
individuals skew the results. The small business numbers in item 2 include
high net worth individuals who only have limited investments in small
businesses. So if you assume the tax breaks primarily favor the wealthy,
what else is new? They do. They almost always will because wealthy
individuals pay more in tax so they save more as well.
Second, if you are among the 50 percent in item 1 that will realize less
than $100 in savings and in the 52 percent of small business owners who will
realize less than $500 in savings, the changes in tax law will not do very
much for you.
Bottom line, these changes are designed to benefit larger small business,
not small business in general.
This does not make it bad law. If it allows the top 20 percent of small
businesses to expand and create jobs, then it's good for the economy and,
therefore, good for you, too. More people employed means more people have
money to buy your products. Increases in consumer confidence created by job
growth can spur your existing customers to spend more. But shouldn't there
be more in terms of a direct benefit for you?
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THESE TWO EXAMPLES?
Why would a group like the one in the first example even consider attempting
to take advantage of a group as large and powerful as you are?
The answer is simple: they believe you are not paying attention! They'll
sneak it by right under your nose. One day you'll wake up and find out that
it's going to cost you up to a third of your profits just to operate online
and you're going to wonder when and how this happened.
Why isn't Congress more in tune with your needs?
Similar reasoning. Congress doesn't know very much about your needs because
it's only the larger small businesses that ever get involved enough to be
Small business as a group rarely speaks with one voice. I believe it's time
If you're interested in getting involved and being heard, let me know.
There's a groundswell of support building to take action to protect small
businesses just like yours. We'd love to have you join us. Separately, we
can do nothing. Together, we can change the world we live in! Given our
numbers and impact on the economy, we make the world work for everyone else.
In return, we deserve more consideration than we are given.
Think about these issues over the next week or so. Email me if you have
thoughts on these issues and if you'd like to get more involved in creating
a voice for small business. It's coming!
Copyright (c) 2003