Most Politicians, Bankers and big companies have no idea what it is like to be a small business owner

Recently, I was going through my Evernote archives of articles that I had ‘clipped’ over the last month and that I thought would be good feedstock for blog posts.

As I was going through all of the articles, I came across Most small business owners have skipped paychecks from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor.

When I saw this article and read it I immediately thought:

‘Thank goodness someone is talking about this’.

Here’s a summary of the main points of the article:

  • “Sorry, no paycheck this week.” It’s a phrase completely foreign to most government workers and politicians, but all too familiar in the small business community.
  • More 50% of small business owners have skipped getting paid at the end of the month to keep their business afloat.
  • Whilst, 18% of owners said their employees have voluntarily missed or delayed getting paid at the end of the month for the good of the company.
  • There was no mention of how many employees had received delayed payment involuntarily.
  • That doesn’t mean that their businesses are standing still as the survey said that 38% of business owners have increased the amount they have spent on equipment and facilities over the past 12 months.
  • And this capital investment was funded out of their own pockets with 69% of owners saying that they had funded the investment themselves out of their savings accounts.

This data is US specific but I am sure that this situation is true for all small business owners all over the world.

Most Politicians, Bankers, big company commentators, celebrity entrepreneurs …,in fact, anyone who is in steady, salaried employment and has never worked for themselves or has run their own business has no idea what it is like to be a small business owner.

Consider this: If you have never gotten to the 29th or 30th of the month and have never wondered how you are going to pay your staff this month. Or, pay your own mortgage on the first of the month then you have no idea.

Let’s not kid ourselves. Real understanding comes from empathy and experience. Sympathy and platitudes are a waste of time.

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