Small Business, Big Business ? What's the Diff?
Well a lot actually!
I become frustrated and angry at the government's paying lip service to assisting small business. It appears as though all governments, bureaucrats and many accounting advisers do not know what a real small business is.
In Australia the government's definition for a small business is one which has less than 100 employees. Who are they kidding? In my consultancy that's a big business.
They believe that 'small business' is the same as 'big business' on a smaller scale, that 'big business' is 'small business' with more of the same.
Wrong! About 99% of small business employs less than 10 employees and what is beneficial to the 100-employee firm may be downright dangerous for the 10-employee firm. Governments must know that. They can't be so stupid not too? can they?
We Aussies are ready to believe anything about our politicians. We have met so many of them and none of them seem any brighter than the fellow next door. (In fact, none of them seem to know as much as I do).
When I decided to go global I was certain that the situation would be different in the USA. I was wrong.
The USA Small Business Authority has set a size standard for most 'small business' enterprises. In the full Table of Small Business Size Standards Matched to SIC Codes published by the Small Business Authority it is annual turnover that limits the size of small business firms.
In my consultancy of restaurants, coffee shops, florists, hairdressers, electrical retailers etc. the turnover limit is $5 million. In Australia there are NO single shop establishments achieving that sort of turnover.
In Australia a hairdressing salon working a 7-day week at an average price of $70 per client would need 30 clients each and every hour on ever day of the year. Impossible in Australia and probably in the USA too.
This does clear up an anomaly I had noticed in the different approach business plans took in Australia as opposed to that taken in America.
When Australian business began to use the Internet almost all the business plan software was from the States. The plans, although meant for small business, were not appropriate for Australian firms because they focused entirely on obtaining venture capital.
There were very few venture capital providers in Australia and of those that were few were interested in providing capital to the majority of our small 'small business'. Business Plans languished in the filing cabinet and were hardly ever seen again.
The Australian consultants began to oversee business plans that focused on their being used as management tools. The planning itself was a vital element in the success of the business?and the plans were used to chart the course of the firm.
Each month the actual results were compared to what had been expected in the business plan. Tactics were formulated to overcome shortcomings or build upon favorable results.
Are you a small business owner who has studied all the books and web information that you can get hold of, and it is still not happening for you?
Perhaps it is because the information was directed to firms much larger than yours - firms with 100 employees or $5 million in sales. You need information more suited to your own business size.
Various organisations publish benchmarks for your industry. Compare your own results with the industry average. This will show where you should be concentrating your efforts for improvement.
You should seek out advisers and information that applies to 'mini' business ? firms that are your size whatever it is. Perhaps you own accountant can help you find it.
But never be so foolish as to believe that what the government says is good for small business will be necessarily good for you.
Kelvyn Peters CPA and Associates knows profitable business strategies that really work.
And he's only an e-mail away.
Kelvyn Peters is one of Australia's longest serving Tax Agents. He was registered in 1962 and became a CPA in 1964.
Kelvyn served on many charitable boards including St Aubyns Hospital, Alzheimer's Association, Older Peoples Advocacy Service and Golden Years Center. As a young man he won the Outstanding Jaycee Award three times.
Kelvyn is a compassionate, generous man who loves people. That's why he is so skilled at helping people in trouble.
Kelvyn Peters was Mayor of Kingaroy Shire Council from 1979 to 1984 and campaigned as the 'Young Man of Action".
Over 20 years later he still regards himself as a 'Young Man of Action'.
He is a director of Restaurant Catering Qld Inc the peak employer representative in Queensland, and has advised the hospitality industry for many years.
His specialty is moving in to rescue an ailing business.
Kelvyn Peters CPA has spent over 20 years experimenting and researching methods to help small business in ways that are affordable.
He's done that for local clients now he's going global.