Are Small Business Owners Being Treated Like the Golden Egg Laying Goose?

Simpleton-finds-the-golden-goose-projectWhat can we learn from the fable of the man with the golden goose?  He had a goose that would lay exactly one golden egg each and every day for him. But one golden egg a day just wasn’t enough. He decided to kill the goose in an effort to access the lump of gold inside the goose only to find nothing, ruining the magical thing he possessed in the first place.

The Government’s “Golden Goose”

The US government has a golden goose too. This goose has continued to lay golden eggs since as long as the American Dream has existed. Who’s the goose? You are. The American small business owner.

Business owners lay a golden egg for our nation each and every day. This golden egg serves as the backbone of our nation’s economy. You innovate, you allow the US to compete on a global level, you create jobs, you provide livelihoods for your employees, you lead, you generate tax revenue for the government, you strengthen the American dollar, the list goes on and on….

  • Small business makes up 90% of the country’s businesses.
  • Over 50% of the entire US workforce works for a small business.1
  • Since 1995 65% of new jobs were created because of small business.2
  • Small business accounts for 54% of all US sales.1
  • There are 28 Million small businesses in the US.1
  • According to the October 2013 Intuit Small Business Employers and Revenues Indexes, small businesses account for approximately 370,000 private sector jobs.

And yet….

  • Only 50% of businesses make it past the 5 year mark
  • According to a Gallup survey of small business owners complying with government regulation is the top concern for their business.
  • $1,752 billion – The total amount of regulation fees annually in the US.3
  • $970 Billion – The annual burden of regulation costs that fall directly on small businesses. That’s an average of $161,000 per company, $8,000 per employee, and 19% of payroll expenditures per year.
  • Regulations hit small business with under 20 employees the hardest at $10,585 per employee on average.
  • Federal regulations cost small firms 36% more than larger firms (greater than 500 employees)
  • The majority of regulatory costs are fixed, meaning a company with 5 employees has to pay the same as a company with 5,000 employees.
  • A study commissioned by the Small Business Administration found regulation costs American business $1.75 trillion per year, and cost small businesses — those with fewer than 20 workers — $970 billion or $10,585 per employee, or 36% more than paid by large businesses, those with 500 or more. And this was using data from 2010, regulations have only climbed since then.4

Shouldn’t the small business owners top concern be anything BUT government compliance? After getting so much from small businesses already, why ask for so much more?

But the burden keeps getting worse…

“The regulatory burdens on US small business are getting worse.”

Professor Scott Shane, SmallBizTrends

The past century represents a history of business owners continually slaughtered after giving our government everything they have. The golden egg is already being laid. They don’t need to keep strangling us in an effort to get more. Check out The growing compliance burden for employers and Employers vs. Red Tape which further illustrate this point.

Goose sitting on golden egg in a nest

Image from DonkeyHotey on flickr

Rewriting the Fable

What if the man in the fable instead chose to treat this golden goose with extra care, support it in every way possible? What if he supported it to produce more eggs per day? Or what if he were thankful for the one egg he was getting already? Maybe that fable would have been a lesson about identifying and preserving a good thing when you see it, instead of greed, grasping for more than you should, or an insatiable hunger for a bigger piece of the pie.

We can’t change the laws enforced on you, but we can change how they impact you.

The burden of labor laws and employer compliance has continued to rise. It seems there’s a new law each and every day that aims to squeeze one more golden egg out of the business owner. You’re continuously expected to do the impossible.

There’s a bright spot, though. Chasing the American Dream is still incredibly rewarding (and not everyone can lay a golden egg, so that’s pretty neat).

The fruits of your labor are still plenty. Working hard on work worth doing is satisfying. You’re impacting the lives of your employees and their families. You’re chasing your dream while enabling others to chase theirs, one paycheck at a time. You’re creating opportunities for someone to make a living that would not have existed apart from your business. We’d say that’s about as miraculous as laying a golden egg considering what you’re up against, wouldn’t you agree?

What Motivates You to Keep Laying That Egg?

Do you feel under-appreciated or unsupported by our government? Or are you satisfied with how are government supports your business? Do you feel small business is treated like the golden goose? Or do you feel like the government is more of a help than a hinderance to your business? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

 

 

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