The month of December is different from other months of the year for the typical small business owner. In addition to running day-to-day operations, you are simultaneously wrapping up the current year and planning for the next. You are doing final tax planning, considering how to relax during the holidays, and thinking how to innovate in your business the next year.
It is also common for Congress to be rushing to approve last-minute tax legislation. However, this year is not a typical year. The trio of the looming fiscal cliff, expected tax increases, and the higher costs of ObamaCare are creating more uncertainty than usual. While I am concerned about the impact of these things on my business, I am not afraid.
Why Am I Not Afraid?
I asked myself this question and here are some of my answers.
- We have a healthy pipeline of new and existing customers looking at projects for the first quarter of 2013. While some small businesses may be hesitating, we are attracting customers who are charging full-speed ahead into 2013.
- We are passionate about the work we are doing for customers. Each of our team members submits a weekly report. The comments in their reports confirm they know why we exist and are excited to participate in our collective WHY.
- We are innovating how we do business with our customers. Innovation involves taking some risk. We cannot look for new ways to serve our customers better if we allow fear to limit our willingness to innovate.
- We have a proven track record of winning. We have weathered other business storms. “While past performance is no guarantee of future results,” we have learned how to win in different economic conditions.
- We are debt free. Three years ago I made the decision to operate my business debt free. As a business owner it gives me freedom. I am not worried about making a payment. And, we have retained earnings to help us through the periods of lesser activity.
- Small business is the backbone of our country. We are a small business and we serve small businesses. Together, small business owners will determine the fate of our economy, one decision at a time. I view operating a small business as a patriotic duty and privilege.
- Business will continue. Congress will eventually decide, intentionally or unintentionally (no decision is still a decision). The uncertainty will pass. Although I doubt I will agree with the outcome, it will not stop my customers from serving their customers, nor us from serving ours.
In short, it boils down to optimism. As a business owner, I am making decisions now with the information available and will adjust when I receive new information.
I do not plan to quit anytime soon. I believe in small business, my small business, and the small businesses of our very valued customers.