For everything they are, everything they do, and everything they have to overcome.
I am fortunate to make my living spending time with, and thinking about, business owners, and helping my clients reach them more effectively. So, every year at this time, when we reflect and give thanks for so many things, I like to expressly show my appreciation for everything SMB owners do. After all, businesses with fewer than 500 employees employ almost half (49.2%) of the private-sector workforce and produce 46% of private-sector output. They also constitute more than 99% of private sector firms (Source: SBA). Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) truly are the foundation of the economy and part of what makes the U.S. so special. It’s not just what they do, but how they do it, that makes SMBs so remarkable.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here are 18 reasons why we should give a nod to the business owners who help create one of the most entrepreneurial business environments in the world:
- Because they create jobs out of thin air (albeit with blood, sweat, and tears)
- Because they sometimes reach into their own pockets to fund payroll
- Because there are very few things they ask employees to do that they have not done themselves
- Because sometimes they must fire people to save jobs (and firing someone is hard)
- Because they see opportunity where most people see unimaginable risk
- Because they put their life savings at risk to take a chance on a dream
- Because of the opportunity cost that some of them pay to pursue a dream
- Because they go to bed knowing that something could happen the next day that can bring it all down
- Because they keep going when they are (frequently) asked, “Why are you doing this?”
- Because they have bounced back from near-failure more times than you will ever know
- Because they know there is a better way, and they pursue it
- Because about 1 out of 6 began without having the good fortune of being born in the United States
- Because they support local communities
- Because most politicians talk about the importance of supporting small businesses while campaigning, only to ignore them once in office
- Because federal, state, and local laws make it very challenging to do business
- Because they didn’t get a bail-out (they didn’t even ask)
- Because they are one of the building blocks of our country
- Because the company you work for almost certainly began as a small business
If you’re reading this, you probably sell or market to SMBs. Join me in taking a moment to appreciate the vision, the hard work, and the resilience of business owners everywhere.