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So You Say You want To Start A Small Business
June 28, 2018
News-opinion-expert business analysis
CLICK TO ENLARGE: Sultan Library on Main Street. Photo: Sky Valley Chronicle
By Rex D. Cain
(SULTAN, WA.) – So you say you want to quit slavin’ away for the man, take your future in your own hands and start your own small business.
Then you need to answer this question: Are you freaking nuts?
You ever spent any time talking to some poor schlep whose been running a small business for 10, 15 20 years? Go find a guy like that. First thing you’ll notice is a guy who looks 20 years older than he should look.
All bent and stooped over, all the life drained out of his eyes and face, a big belly from years of stress, over work and poor diet and lots of gray hair. A shell of a man (or woman).
Most likely he’ll be pre-diabetic or a full blown Type 2 diabetic by then. And this is a guy who started out healthy as a dog and with the same great dreams and ideas you have right now.
He started out just like you with all that great optimism and all those Hollywood thoughts of making it big like Jeff Bezos (who came from a well to do family to begin with just like Trump).
That old guy with the gray hair standing before you will tell you that in the typical small business, you don't run it. It runs you.
The long hours at low pay
Get ready for long hours at low pay because unless you have a sugar daddy for backing, you’ll never have enough money be able to afford to hire all the help you need. As a result, you’ll work most of the holidays and often late into the night during the week and sometimes on weekends if you have an employee get sick and not show up for work.
Oh. And you say you have hobbies right now? You like to do things in your spare time like skiing, hiking, fishing, hunting, bowling, going to sports games, hanging out with hookers and drinking all night a few times a month to blow off steam and/or taking long vacations in the summer?
Well forget all that. Your “free” time Bubba will be sucked up by the business and what little free time you do have you’re gonna use to collapse in front of the TV with a half rack of beer followed by some cheap weed to get your mind off the god-awful grind of your life.
Bye bye birthday parties
No time for birthday parties, Bar Mitzvahs, weddings, movies, wives, girl friends or boy friends. In fact, you won't have time for just plain old friends and after a while they’ll just drift away into the mist and be one more long ago memory.
Sooner or later your wife will run off with her personal trainer because you never have time for her. You’ll go through a divorce. Lose a ton of money. End up for a while sleeping in the back of your shop.
Plus you’ll have to make enough dough in that business to fund your own health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and every other kind of stupid insurance including a good umbrella insurance plan for your business to protect yourself against the schmuck who says he slipped on a banana peel in your store/shop and is now disabled for life and suing you for everything you own (which ain’t much after the divorce).
And then there’s the taxes. You gotta do your quarterlies (and pay your quarterly estimated tax) plus your annuals, the P & L’s, blah blah blah. And then there's the fun of the odd state or IRS audit where they look for ways to nail your hard working gonads to the wall.
The big fail, employees, accountants and going postal
Oh. And you know a lot of small businesses fail right? What happens when you’re ten or 15 years into it, killing yourself every year and a brutal recession comes along (and/or a big Walmart store moves in 12 blocks from your shop) and kills your business?
Now you’ve lost four things: your job, your income, any future financial security and the business that provides the other three.
Plus you’ll probably lose your home because over the years most small business people do 2nd mortgages on the house when they need money to expand, buy more inventory, try to get more help, etc.
Ah yes. The help. If you’re unlucky, you’ll wake up some day and find out your most trusted employee has been robbing your business blind behind your back. Or you’ll find out that accountant that “handled” all your books for you was cooking those books and also robbing you blind.
Happens all the time Spunky. And when that happens you’ll be tempted to take that old Ruger Security Six .357 magnum revolver of yours and go big time postal. Go native on those suckers.
And what happens when the day comes you get into a terrible auto accident or have a massive heart attack or come down with cancer and cant work for months? You think your employees (that you don't pay much to begin with and who don't have any benefits at that job) will devote the time and care necessary to make sure that small business stays in business?
You don't run a small business bro. A small business runs you.
And have we got a deal for you
But, having said all that if you’re still rarin’ to go and start that small business well then hot damn do we have a deal for you!
Saturday June 30 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Sultan Library there’s a free seminar called “Are You Ready To Start Your Own Business?”
Learn what it takes to make the leap from working class schlep to owner schlep from the lovely and talented Leona Rehm who’s with a company called Simple Effective Coaching, LLC.
The short seminar is free and trust us, it’s gonna be a gas and a groove.
Thank you for your attention to this business matter. There will be a test later.