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Posts Tagged ‘confidence’

Tight Credit Is Hurting Small Business – Is Anyone In Washington Listening?

By John Joyce on April 26, 2010 - Comments 0

Tight Credit Is Hurting Small BusinessThis morning, Steve Matthews and Vivien Lou Chen over at Bloomberg discuss the impact of the tight credit market on small business owners and their lack of empowerment to hire new employees.

Commercial and industrial loans at U.S. commercial banks declined by $900 million during the week ended April 14 to $1.27 trillion, according to Fed data released on April 23. In March, such loans hit the lowest point in more than two years.  Revolving debt, such as credit cards, which are often used to finance small businesses, fell by $9.4 billion in February, the biggest decline in three months, according to Fed statistics.

Lawmakers recently passed a “jobs bill” (and I’m disappointed that Scott Brown supported it) that will do absolutely nothing to empower businesses to hire.

Real Example:

Michael Chapman, the owner of a building company with 20 employees in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has had trouble getting a bank loan and this month he let Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig know it.  Tight credit in commercial real estate “has really made it impossible for banks to lend to people like me,” the president of Chapman Homes said during a question period after an April 7 speech by Hoenig. Chapman said his company, unable to get a loan to hire 15 workers while big Wall Street firms get record bailouts, is “too small to succeed.”

We recently learned that GM was using bailout money to pay back their initial bailout.  This is a real slap in the face of honest, hard working business owners who play by the rules can’t get a bank loan.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that funding unprofitable companies with tax dollars isn’t going to get us out of the recession.

Are you listening, Washington?  Start taking the bailout money that has been repaid and offer interest-free loans to honest business owners across the country.  These people will be grateful for the opportunity to grow their business, they’ll repay the loans and they’ll create new jobs.  It really is that simple.

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Is The Outlook For Small Business Awfully Good Or Just Plain Awful?

By John Joyce on April 13, 2010 - Comments 0

Good morning/afternoon, my name is John/Jeff and I would like to empower/scare you with some scientific research data that illustrates how great/terrible the outlook is for small business owners.

Yesterday, the American Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE), SCORE, and the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC), along with Constant Contact, released survey results stating that Seventy-nine percent of small businesses revealed a confident to neutral outlook for the U.S. economy over the next 12 months.

Key findings from this survey of nearly 7,000 small business respondents are as follows:

– Small businesses anticipate growth in 2010

– Small businesses are doing more with less

– Small businesses look for new efficiencies as costs increase

– Small businesses question government support

However, this morning, the National Federation of Independent Business monthly business index stated, “U.S. small business owners have little confidence in the economy and are in no rush to hire or expand, despite signs the recovery is picking up”.  The interpretation of this number is extremely negative and points to a lack of confidence in the economy but, more importantly, a realization that Congress and the Obama administration have offered nothing to help small businesses grow during these difficult times.

So, what does this mean?  Are things good or are they bad?  I’ve begun to just chuckle at this type of seemingly impossible conflict of data collected from the same overall pool.  I’m sure both are scientifically sound but to have such disparity in results is confounding for business owners.  Should we double-up or start building the fallout shelter?

Maybe we should just stop reading the news.  Either way, the only thing that matters is your personal experience and, in many cases, what your instincts tell you.  We all have to be cautions in uncertain times but must also recognize when to take risk and build our own foundation for recovery and growth.

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U.S. Small Business Outlook 2010: Lessons Learned From Forbes Insight

By John Joyce on February 18, 2010 - Comments 2

Forbes Insight Small Busines Survey 2010

A Case For Optimism?

Forbes, in association with CIT, conducted one-on-one interviews with small business owners to better understand the lessons learned from the past 12-18 turbulent months.  Their findings, although not earth shattering, highlight a bit of a silver lining when you consider that most respondents have learned to work smarter and do more with less.

Unfortunately, nobody in Washington understands the needs of small business owners, therefore; they have been left to fend for themselves and figure out creative ways to survive and even thrive in a difficult economy.  If the legislators just listened to the needs of business owners, we could speed up the recovery process.

OK, I’ll get off my soap box and focus on the more interesting results of the survey:

  • Nearly seven out of ten (68%) disagreed that healthcare reform efforts would benefit their businesses
  • Nine out of ten small business owners agreed that current stimuli do not benefit small businesses
  • 62% will invest more in marketing; specifically, lead generation
  • More than 60% said they will run their business more aggressively in 2010
  • 50% will invest in growth or expansion
  • While 33% said they would likely reduce their hiring, 29% expected to hire more workers
  • 50% will hold on to their cash
  • Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents agreed – coming out of the recession, the old way of doing business won’t work; we need to find new ways to take advantage of market opportunities
  • 79% say their market segment is more competitive than ever
  • 46% will pursue new revenue streams

Small business owners are, by definition, risk takers and will always welcome a challenge.  The past 12-18 months have made business owners better leaders and more prudent decision makers.  However, the most telling quote from this study highlights the immense challenges ahead -  “this ordeal has taken its toll on how small business owners see the economy in general. Only about one-fifth of respondents (21%) believe that the financial crisis has already bottomed out, with 47% expecting this to occur in 2010. They predict the financial markets will turn around in 2010/2011, stability will return in 2011/2012, and growth won’t come back until 2012 or later.”

Don’t hold your breath waiting for our politicians to suddenly “get it”.  Simply take your lessons, apply them to the present and future, and continue to move the rock forward.

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Do What You Love And It Will Show

By John Joyce on November 9, 2009 - Comments 1

I came across this video clip over the weekend and it’s a great illustration of harnessing your passion to fuel business success.  John Nese was able to take a childhood idea and turn it into a thriving niche retail business that empowered him to tell the giants of the industry (Coke and Pepsi) that he wasn’t interested in selling their products.  I almost felt like I was watching a scene from the movie “Being There” because Mr. Nese makes everything so easily understandable.  His passion is undeniable and it goes beyond just being a soda pop enthusiast.  Here are my takeaways from this great story:

1. Know your customer.

2. Know your product.

3. Know your market.

4. Maintain a clear vision and execute.

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Don’t Listen to What Other People Say

By admin on April 16, 2009 - Comments 7

Do you have an idea for a new business? Is it a little bit “outside of the box”? If you truly believe you have an

Susan Boyle Should Ignore The Critics

Susan Boyle Should Ignore The Critics

idea/invention/business that brings value to the market, then put your head down and push the rock forward. Don’t listen to the cynics out there. Those are the same people who would never take the risk and they don’t have the confidence that you have.

If you can dream it, you can do it. Everyone looked at Susan Boyle on “You’ve Got Talent” and jumped to the conclusion that she would not be successful. They were dead wrong.

If people look at your idea and doubt you or doubt that you can be successful in a down economy, they’re wrong.  Watch this clip, be inspired and enjoy the success you know you’re capable of achieving.

(YouTube wouldn’t let me embed this video, sorry for the primitive link)

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