Images of the nasty, colossal giant filled our heads when we first heard the story of David and Goliath as children. For purposes of today’s blog, let’s look to this story as the little guys vs. the big guys (small business owners vs. large corporations).
Recently, I attended numerous small business events and a few weekend festivals. I was surrounded by hundreds of vendors, each trying to sell something: widgets, kitchen ware, handmade jewelry, insurance, small appliances, books — you name it! While I participated in what appeared to be a vibrant display of colors on a beautiful day, what I noticed most of all popped my balloon and sent my spirits southbound.
While everyone was caught up in the festivities, I saw something no one else seemed to notice; no one was buying much of anything. There were free give-aways and samples, but very few people were doling out the cash for any product. The thought occurred to me that all these vendors shelled out cash to rent space, with the high hopes of selling their products or services. When one looked at the people in the booths, you could see the weariness on their faces, as they worried that their business might not make it.
I took notice of the small jewelers who were silversmiths, etc. Their work was lovely but high-priced. I am the first to acknowledge and praise the labor of love that goes into a work of art, but people these days are buying precious metals at spot price, not four or ten times spot price. I realize they are buying art and not weight, but in my circles, I see it sell by weight. So how on earth is the little guy supposed to make ends meet?
This is a common theme among small business owners, especially in the last few years. There are numerous causes for concern: the economy, demand of what’s hot and what’s not, capital needs to run the business, taxes, etc. My business adviser said the two main reasons businesses fails is:
- People run out of money, and
- People lose their follow-through and tenacity.
While these may be accurate, we are living in strange times. Many people are anxious about money and worried that they won’t have enough or already don’t have enough.
It seems lately that the little guy is getting beat to a pulp. They are losing their benefits, having to let go of employees because they can no longer afford them, etc. I think the government often hurts the little guy instead of helping them. Such a shame!
Many of the greatest corporations came from modest roots. Look at Facebook, Microsoft, and others. These guys started out in one room with very little money, but armed with fantastic ideas that changed our daily lives. Can we all be Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg? No. We’re not meant to be. We’re meant to illuminate our corner of the world with our thoughts and ideas every day and do the best that we can.
I can’t pretend to know all the issues out there that affect small business owners, but I know this much — If little David can slay a giant with one strategically placed stone, we just need to have a little faith and practice more strategic thinking. Then, we too can be successful.
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com.