The February BSC Wisdom Webinar and Work Session focused on Providers — how to choose, evaluate, and manage them better for both of you. Attendees added some great ideas from their own experiences. Check it out here: https://bit.ly/WisdomWebinar-UpgradeProviders-2-17-22.
Anthony Palomba didn’t know about the “Business Permission to Operate If Clauses” when he started but he does now. He started Thakgnosis, which means “to know peace” but he hasn’t found time for that as a new business owner. The business is located in Austin, Texas, but it would have been the same no matter where he was. The Business “If Clause” is everywhere and affects all businesses of every size.
What is this nemesis? Who is this desperado, this spoiler, who steals the joy of business ownership? It’s all the other “stuff” that is required in order to do business besides providing products and services to customers. The biggest culprit: compliance.
The Business Permission to Operate If Clause is translated and understood to mean “you have our permission to do business here if you….” (fill in the blank). It can be costly — as much as $83, 019 in the first year and it doesn’t get better. Older businesses spend 40 hours on average dealing with federal regulations and another 40 on state and local regulations. Non-compliance is expensive averaging $30, 651 in fines. These figures come from the January 2017 Small Business Regulations Study conducted online by the National Small Business Association. This doesn’t even mention the other certifications, requirements, orders from industry and professional groups who also control permission. It may be correct to be a little skeptical about the figures (only 1000 survey respondents) but whatever they are, they certainly impact the attitude and behavior of business owners like Palomba.
The Business Permission If Clause has been around forever — since commerce began. It is what gives every business owner the permission or right to have a business in a community and serve its people. It goes by over twenty-eight different names and 160 times more when you translate those into the major languages of the world. The two most common names “rules” and “regulations”. (See list below.)
Business Permission If Clause 28+ Terms
• International Terms for all of the above
Over twenty-two different groups plus international groups by country, decide external governance — not just the local, state or federal government control that permission. (See list below.)
Governing Bodies Who Control or Influence the Business Permission to Operate If Clause
• Federal Legislature
• Licensing Agency
• Trade Association
• Professional Association
• Home Owners Associations
• Grant Providers
• Location owner/developer
• Council of Gov (COGs)
• Insurance Providers
• Financial Institutions
• International Agencies
• EU and other groups of countries who have agreements
• Individual Countries (not including the US)
Big Problem: Keeping Up with Business Permissions
The biggest problem for new owners as well as more experienced owners is keeping up with all those names and all those external governance permissions. It is a moving target but something to add to the MUST DO Task list.
There are some general realities about them that are worth repeating to all businesses:
- Laws remain on the books after no one follows them or believes them.
- Conflict in governance exists because there are conflicting rules.
- Probably two-thirds of proposed rules won’t apply to you — one third will — so you need to read them all to find that one third.
- Government rules originate from those who gain enough power to make the rule (citizens, Unions, countries, those with a lot to gain) not from those we elect; professional rules originate from leaders of the organization and their goals.
- You will have to make choices to obey or not based on your own ethics and moral perspective.
- You will be in violation at some point.
- You will have to pay the price of your decision to comply or not to comply.
- External governance is one of the hardest parts of being in business.
It’s easy in an election season to focus on the candidates and forget about what also matters to business — those neglected Propositions. Each one has the potential to become the next Business Permission to Operate If Clause because they affect your business, your workforce, your customers, and your community. Don’t do that. Do your homework. Pay attention to them and encourage others to really think about them before they vote.
You can be entertained and inspired at the same time this holiday season or any time of the year with these business-related films. What a combination.
Even your family and friends will enjoy them.
So will your employees. You might want to have a movie party or film festival instead of what you usually do to celebrate the season.
Some of these holiday films are old and some are new but they have one thing in common: they will leave you with ideas, a smile and maybe a happy tear or two. Best of all none of these are snarky. The people really care about each other, instead of trying to rip each other apart or outdo each other. These are all 5-star!
1. Holiday (1938) is all about vision and sticking to your guns. Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn show that money doesn’t mean everything and that being true to your vision — even if it’s unorthodox. We know, and the characters know, that making your vision come true can be painful but rmore rewarding than following the herd and what is expected.
2. Miracle on 34th Street (1947 Maureen O’Hara & John Payne) is what good customer service should be all about — giving people the opportunity to buy if it’s the right choice for them. It’s about believing in yourself when others don’t. Yes, I believe in Santa Claus (or at least what he stands for.)
3. Desk Set (1957 Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn) is a tale of trade secrets and technology that can backfire good intentions. It demonstrates the need to recognize the employee grapevine we all have — even if we only have one employee. Every well-meaning owner should watch it if they are planning major changes to their business. And, remember what they learned!
4. We’re No Angels (1955) Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray, and Peter Ustinov become temporary employees and use unusual methods to help out a well-meaning business man. Think about what your employees do for you and be thankful.
5. Other People’s Money (1991) Danny De Vito and Gregory Peck point out the good and bad of corporate takeovers. Darker than the rest of the films listed and not holiday-driven, it is highly relevant today as current businesses struggle with the issue of what is good for employees and what is good for shareholders who are also employees. It’s a thinking movie that lends itself to discussions between employees and management and even other stakeholders.
6. The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017 Dan Stevens & Christopher Plummer) is not just about creatives like Charles Dickens. Most owners go through business blockages from time to time and live with businesses that always don’t cooperate. They can be messy and inefficient. Downright unprofitable and scary. When you go back to your roots and use the resources that you are exposed to, great things can happen.
We hope you will add to the list and watch some of these treasures. Be sure to share them with others.
The small business definition by the government isn’t simple. It has changed over the years. It changes by agency or federal program. Sometimes a small business is defined as a “mouse”. Really!
Your small business definition is probably very different. If you are one, you may be surprised at who else is included.
Small business wasn’t small until Eisenhower said so
Until the creation of the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1953 by President Eisenhower with the signing of the Small Business Act, there was no difference. A business was a business and some were smaller than others. The beginning of a small business definition starts here.
How the SBA Office of Advocacy defines small business is a matter of history
In the 1970’s, during another economic downturn, those who looked at the economy saw that there was a group of businesses doing better than others and creating jobs. The federal SBA Office of Advocacy was born at that time to identify, track, report, and make recommendations to government agencies on how to keep this momentum going. [Read more…]
Business Challenges: What Goes Up Must Come Down
How many ups and downs has your business experienced? Since we started our business, we have been through seven ups and downs – oil, banking, real estate, savings and loans, dot.com, Wall Street, and now real estate again. It has caused us to refine and redefine our business at least that many times.
If it’s a part life, it does not make sense just to try to survive this one. Another wave is coming. If you own a business, the wave that could take you under could be something global like this “Great Recession” or something unique to you and your business. So be watchful; be prepared for those business challenges that are out there.
My brother gave me a copy of A Left-Handed History of the World by Ed Wright for Christmas. As my husband, Daniel, said, that’s much better than a previous gift of 101 Uses for a Dead Cat by Simon Bond. Others found it amusing, as a cat lover, I did not.
I am left-handed. It was interesting to read about other prominent lefties. Some of my favorites include: Queen Victoria, Charlie Chaplin, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Madame Curie, Henry Ford, Ramses the Great, and Joan of Arc. Several US presidents (Reagan, Ford, George W. Bush, and Clinton) were on the left – when it comes to hands at least. [Read more…]
I’ve said for years there’s a problem. The issue of the Bush tax cuts just points this out in spades.
I saw Keith Olbermann’s Countdown program, “Small in Name Only” on MSNBC on September 22, 2010, about the “kooky” (their word not mine) definition of small business. It isn’t weird, it’s just flexible as the Small Business Act intended it to be. Maybe it needs work. I certainly think so.
This is what the SBA (Small Business Administration) says on the FAQs page of their website. You can check me out on this.
“Size standards define the maximum size that a firm, including all of its affiliates, may be to participate in federal government programs that are reserved for small businesses. The Small Business Act states that in determining what constitutes a small business, the definition will vary from industry to industry to reflect industry differences accurately.” [Read more…]