Friday, January 27, 2012

Free beer with that?

We've all heard the stat that says something like: Of the 6,446,118 restaurants that will open in the US this year, only one will survive...and only because they serve free beer after 5 PM.

Seriously, first-year restaurant failure numbers are frightening.

The rest of the private sector start-up small and medium size business (SMB)numbers aren't a helluva lot better.

After obligatory niceties, I've asked plenty of new SMB entrepreneurs about to tip their toes into the pool the following question: How to you plan to get customers? Their answers range typically from "it's in marketing section of my business plan" to "what do you mean?".

People you know who run a business, have employees and have run the company for some time- these are folks with some serious intestinal fortitude. People who you know who have spent their career working for others but CONSTANTLY complain and tell others their plans to start their own business...they are intestinal parasites.

Hail, hail the small business owner.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pass me the Sanctimony, please.

"..It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

I make a point of not using other people's words in this space..especially quotes. I put considerable effort in defining "financial conflict of interest" and NOTHING my grey matter could summons trumps this. Thank you, Upton Sinclair.

Two pieces of legislation are currently in the House and Senate that both essentially address the same thing: Intellectual Property. Understandably, forces and factions on both sides are lining up to protect their interests. What KILLS me when situations like this occur (and they do relentlessly) is how organizations espouse that it is THE PEOPLE they care about and not their own financial interests. The stories of the "poor people" or "the artists" who will be victims if the legislative outcome goes one way or another.

Business, name it. It's not me I'm concerned about, crows the carnival barker du jour!!! Pass the Kleenex, please...I'm falling to pieces over here.

As human beings subject to the helplessness of a finite lifespan and an entirely unpredictable tomorrow, we are hard-wired to care about ourselves and our loved ones closest to us more than anything else. (even more than random "artists"!!). And unless there's an abject collapse of the worlds financial system, money can sometimes eliminate or at least assuage the inevitable problems and heartbreaks that are part of all of our lives. Many of us care about money ONLY for this reason. Obviously, untold numbers of others obsess over money for less benevolent reasons. Either way, people care about it.

And then we deny it...why?

Entertainment giant Viacom will tell you their primary concern is for "the artist". Really? Go ask 1,000 entertainers how much Viacom cares about them. If the likes of Viacom publicly said that "our profits help MANY people and we are getting ripped off" they'd have my ear.