There has been a lot written about the effect of government on small business in this issue, however a strong SME rarely depends on government of any political persuasion to be of real benefit to their growth. The Coach, Jon-Michail examines why SMEs don’t need government support.
Entrepreneurs by nature don’t live their lives hoping and wishing governments will make it easier for them. By their very nature, entrepreneurs make life and business easier for themselves. The same can be said of small to medium enterprises. That’s not to say, entrepreneurs and SMEs don’t welcome federal support – and they are usually approving of proactive, free enterprise governments.
However, SMEs and the entrepreneurs that run them, live by a self-advancement code. They know if they wait for government policies to push their businesses along, they will likely fail. Entrepreneurs are of the mindset and spirit that you create ‘out of nothing’. They have not been conditioned to entitlement and they know that in the real world they cannot afford to wait for an easy feed. Entrepreneurs understand that they are the hunters. They don’t expect handouts, they work on a policy of no unlimited wastage and they nearly always invest their own money into their venture.
Throughout history, it is the entrepreneurs, the pioneers if you will, that have taken the risks to help develop communities. Think of Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Dick Smith, Richard Pratt and Lindsay Fox among others. Each and every one of those mentioned has innovated, pioneered and created services and products that have changed business and/or social mentalities.
None of those above has waited for government support to bring their ideas to fruition.
Governments of the past may have played a greater part in supporting entrepreneurs, but today the new system of urban elitism supports ‘talking more and doing less’. The doers are rare today. Maybe it’s an indication of how great Australia as a nation is that people can choose not to be creative and innovative. It’s not necessary because Australia offers most people the lifestyle of their choice without them having to do much at all. It’s a different culture to Europe, South America, Africa or Asia, where the ‘do little’ attitude will get you nowhere.
The doers in this country are the SME owners and entrepreneurs. They cannot be treated on the same way as large corporations and they should receive more support. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, SMEs employ 4.8 million people – that is 70.5% of the total workforce. You would expect with that sort of market reach, the SME lobbyists would generate enough influence to make a sustainable difference to their political power; after all they obviously influence economic progress. However the power structure is positioned in a manner that keeps them politically impotent.
And that is why even though they would like more support, they will not necessarily rely on any support.
The most effective way government can support SMEs is through less regulation and greater incentives to hire people. Government must pave the way with positive workplace policies that allow flexible work arrangements that have a capitalistic and social responsibility elements. Why would a business take all the risk, including losing their life savings to employ people when the one-sided laws are so prohibitive? Please tell me, who is the long-term winner in this arrangement? It’s not business, nor the employee.
What we have is an unstainable economic model. The most sustainable business model that exists, and the facts support it without spin, is to support all aspects of entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial growth. The sooner governments understand this, the sooner society prospers in all sectors other than the favourable few…
Excerpted from an article originally published in the Sep/Oct 2013 issue of Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine. If you are a subscriber to Think & Grow Rich Inc. magazine, you will receive this article in your Sep/Oct 2013 issue of TGR. If you are not a subscriber, click here to subscribe.
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