According to the National Federation of Independent Business, small business confidence plunged in August.
What I found interesting in this report, were the reasons why:
- “Owners appear to have lost confidence in the economy and the government’s ability to assist [in] the recover.” Why on earth would any business owner expect any help from the government at this point, and therefore why pin any hopes or economic confidence on the abilities of the government? That’s like suggesting a person living on welfare should expect the government to help them find a job so they can pay their bills! Since when did we become so reliant on the government to get our family or our business out of a jamb? Could Washington help with better fiscal policy, of course, but waiting for that to happen is nonsense. Innovation is the only way out of a sluggish business.
- “Over the next three months, 11% plan to increase employment, 12% plan to reduce their workforce…. 15% reported unfilled job openings”. According to the NFIB, this equates to a seasonally adjusted increase of 5% of business owners creating jobs, not to mention the unfilled job openings. My fear is that the extended unemployment policy is making our workforce more and more complacent because of the temptation of free pay for no work. I’ve personally spoken to 4 small business owners this past week who can’t find qualified help. By qualified they mean, able and willing to work, with the appropriate skill set. Sadly, the willingness part appears to be the most lacking.
- “…owners expecting better business conditions in six months…. is 36 percentage points lower than it was in January.” I’ve been blessed to be working with many business owners that have finally come to realize that they need to create the conditions that will allow them to succeed. 4-5 years ago we saw too many business owners closing down, mostly because of excessive debt coinciding with a drop in sales revenue. I thought we were past this “cleansing “ period, but the results of this report make me wonder. It’s been my impression that the successful business owners I work with all have at least three things in common:
- They have innovated their way to increased sales
- We have cut overhead costs dramatically
- We are all working longer and harder. There is a hustle in our collective step.
In no way, shape or form are we relying on the government to lend a hand in the day to day business planning. It doesn’t even come up for consideration. Our country was founded on self-reliance and faith in God and we need to get back to those principles soon. If not, we may forever loose the gift of capitalism.
Am I the only one noticing this slippery slope? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.