You, us, we small business people are the drivers now. It’s important to remember that as we tool around our community.
It’s not to swagger with false confidence as BMOC’s did in the past. No. The point is to understand…we’re driving this economy moving forward.
Here’s why: On average, small business generates 60% of new jobs created in this country. Year-in, year-out. Boom or bust economy. Inflationary, deflationary, growth or recession, bear or bull market. 60% of all new jobs are created by small businesses.
But wait, we’re not in an average economy today. ( Some of you are thinking “You’re right, Sherlock. Thanks for reminding us.”) There’s no denial now that we’re in a recession. Maybe we’ve been in one since…Q1. And maybe it will continue for another quarter or two.
It doesn’t really matter.
Recessions are great for small business. According to Bob Graboyes, Senior Health Advisor at National Federation of Independent Business, and economics professor at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University, 100% of new jobs are created by small business in a recession. We discussed this in our conversation on health care and small business. You can listen here.
That’s right. 100% of new jobs are created by small business in a recession. And where are we right now? A recession.
(The logic’s fairly obvious to support this data. Recessions are an economy’s way of cleaning itself of excesses in behaviors or industries. And large corporations have built themselves to exploit these excesses. They suffer the most in a recession. Or their employees, do, as their companies first dump the products, then their business models and then the infrastructure and employees who built it.)
Back to the point: YOU…we, are the drivers now. You, we, have moved from the backseat to the driver’s seat.
Hyperbole and generalized statistics aside, here’s the standard competitive advantages of small business during a recession:
- Unburdened by legacy infrastructure. You’re not burdened with technology that’s now out of date. ( You may not have much of an infrastructure at all. And until now you thought that was a handicap. Turns out it was a smart decision on your part.)
- Unburdened by uninteresting, outdated, products.
- Simple, efficient decision-making. It’s just you or you and 2-3 others.
- Personal connection with your employees and your customers.
- Your products are unique. That stems in part from your personal connection with customers and employees. And it shows you were smart and you knew better than to chase sales against a corporate giant in a commoditized industry.
Their engagement and loyalty is far stronger.
Now, here’s more reasons.
- Innovation. It’s possible in a small company, nearly impossible in a big company. A small company has space to grow, people who want to grow, and a need to grow. Both candidates for president offered ideas on spurring innovation. Who knows what the future holds for manifesting these ideas? My point is that at the national level, the need for innovation is being heard and being spoken.
- Investment. See above point.
- Infrastructure -Yours. You’re one step ahead. Unlike corporate giants, you have no now outdated equipment, and the issue of what to do with it, blocking your view. You’re ready to bring on the new technology for this next new step.
- Infrastructure – Our country’s. We’ve heard promises of a renewed investment in our nation’s infrastructure is imminent. Here’s where increased innovation meets the road. New sources of energy, safer energy, will be created. And new businesses will be needed to bring these solutions to market.
- Prices are at their lowest. Equipment deals are plentiful in this soft economy. I recently bought a laptop and desktop workstation and both with 100 times the memory, 10 times the processing power, 10 times the ram, etc for what I paid 3 years ago for a laptop only. They’re smaller, lighter, brighter with more applications and thingies to help me move faster. And if I’d waited a few more months, I could have saved even more.
- Business Applications: More, cheaper, faster. There are more applications, cheaper applications, faster applications that make your business more efficient than those now dinosaur corporate giants.
Here are a few places to find them:
* SmallBiz Survival. Right here in River City, ok, Alva, Oklahoma is a site where you’ll find new applications and new ways to use them.
* Small Business Trends. Anita Campbell’s site where she and other experts in small business trends share tips and resources. (Disclaimer: I guest post there.)
* Lifehack. Solutions to life’s challenges, including running your own business, are offered daily. Most are free, or very inexpensive if you don’t mind learning.
* MySolutionSpot. Great community site with lots of user-generated tips and resources. (Disclaimer: I guest post there.)
I’d concentrate on the first 3. There are many, many, excellent experts sharing their expertise and tips and advice…free. (My content accounts for less than 1% on these sites).
Remember: Our time is precious. Find the sites that offer tips, resources you can put to use…immediately, from people who’ve put them to use.
4 Steps to Drive Forward…Quickly
1). Go where they ain’t. Go where your competitors aren’t. They’re stuck, for now. You’re not. Get moving
2). Go where they are. Go where the innovations and their investments are taking place. Find a place for yourself there by offering your solutions.
3). Invest in your employees. Now’s the time to invest even more in your company’s greatest asset: your employees. (Warning: self-promotion. I blogged 16 ways you can invest in your employees…and it won’t cost you a dime.)
4). Start making some mistakes. You’ll get to your goals faster the faster you make some mistakes.
Sure. We’re a small business. We’re new to this idea we’re in the driver’s seat.
Remember. We’re small, nimble, quick to decide, comfortable making mistakes and learning, realizing our mistakes won’t cost us much. And our successes will bring much to our companies and communities.
We’ll be the first ones out of this recession.
But remember, the country doesn’t come out of this recession until we do. We’re the driver for this economy, now. Our friends and family are depending on us.
About the Author: Zane Safrit’s passion is small business and the operationsí excellence required to deliver a product that creates word-of-mouth, customer referrals and instills pride in those whose passion created it. He previously served as CEO of a small telecom service provider in rural Iowa. Zane’s blog can be found at Zane Safrit. His radio show can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/zane-safrit.
Jay Ehret says
Spot on, Zane! Small businesses are the backbone of this country. Small businesses do the hard work of a community and give a community its character. Great post!
Daniel Comp says
I appreciate your article, as we share a passion for making a difference. Thanks for banging the drum on ‘recovery’. I’ve found stats that support as much as 87% of jobs in America having been created by solo-preneurs – hiring their first employee.
Keep up the challenge!