Why You Shouldn’t Wait Until the Election to Start or Grow Your Business

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

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Something we’ve been hearing over and over recently from clients and potential clients alike goes something like this: “I’m going to wait until the election is over to see if I should start my business” or something similar. Some existing business owners have said similar things in regards to expanding their business, spending money on marketing or capital improvements, etc. Basically, they want to see what the political environment will be like before pulling the trigger on any big decisions.

While that seems like the prudent thing to do, let’s go over the reasons why that might not be the best strategy:

  1. Gridlock will be likely
  2. You’ll lose months of momentum and experimentation
  3. Your best competitors will not have such hesitations

1. Gridlock will be likely:

Hillary Clinton, should she win, will almost certainly be dealing with Republican majority in the House and maybe the Senate. Republicans only need one house to block any meaningful legislation. There’s also a lot of “bad blood” going around this election season so there’s yet another reason why the 2 parties are likely not to agree on much – in this case, gridlock of our government is a “feature, not a bug” so when American’s can’t agree, the government usually can’t either. Also, recent scandals (emails, Benghazi, etc.) may cause both parties to fight from day one.

Donald Trump, should he win, will also be dealing with a hostile congress, even if it is Republican majorities in both houses. He’s made many enemies in his own party, in particular, Paul Ryan who is the Speaker of the House. Trump getting much legislation through in this environment is unlikely. Also, the Democrats will be extremely angry at his tactics to secure the Presidency so they’ll likely be willing to block anything just to spite him.

2. You’ll lose months of momentum and experimentation

In the small business world, speed, momentum and being able to test your product, message, marketing and other things is critical. Speed is one of the main advantages of small business. If you wait around for months to even start a business or spend money on improving your business you’re likely to lose momentum to other competitors. Speaking of…

3. Your best competitors will not have such hesitations

Many have written about the vast fortunes that were created in recessions/depressions and challenging political environments. The lesson is that while their competitors were petrified to move or even downsizing, smart entrepreneurs were taking advantage of tough times to “buy low” (investments, property, etc.), expand their business, simplify and streamline their operations and keep moving forward. Recessions are usually a convenient excuse to not do anything.

Should I worry at all?

Sure, any political or economic environment is unpredictable by nature, but these worries are usually not justified for small businesses or startups. It’s large companies that have the most to lose. Small business is nimble, quick to adjust and ultimately much more suited to survive the worst. Focus on the positive, the opportunities that even bad environments can bring and you’re much more likely to thrive.

What’s Hot in Startups 2013

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Start Me Up: What's Hot in the World of Startups
Image source: www.businessmba.org

Steve Jobs R.I.P.

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Great post from Jason Calacanis:

1. Unrelenting attention to detail.

2. Impeccable taste.

3. Indefatigable passion.

4. Absolute conviction.

5. Unwavering vision.

6. Boundless curiosity.

7. Mercurial motivator.

One or two of these will help you make a living.

Three or four of these will make you successful.

Four of five of these will make you a legend.

Five or six of these will make you iconic for all time.

All seven will make you Steve Jobs.

Read the whole thing.

Small Business Can Save America

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

Bad news is all around us and only seems to be getting worse each day. Our nation’s leaders are deadlocked about how to solve our problems while the president runs amok with promise and rhetoric that don’t translate to his ability. Unemployment is soaring and the deficit has reached the stratosphere. China is taking the lead as a global power while the USA falters…and our younger generations don’t seem to care that our nation is getting worse, not better.

In a great article from USA Today, a plan is proposed that it’s time for small business to come to America’s rescue—and it can be done. Just as it’s been done before. More than 20 million new jobs—many from startups that grew into billion dollar companies like Amazon.com and Starbucks—were created during the great boom of the Clinton administration. During Reagan’s presidency, great economic progress was fueled by the sentiment that small businesses and entrepreneurs could account for almost all of that growth.

It’s a fact that small business helps America. According to the Small Business Administration, an astonishing 99% of companies with payroll are small businesses—and those companies employ more than 50% of the working public and create an impressive 80% of new job growth.

Small business propels the country forward—and if our stubborn political leaders want to get our country moving again and reclaim our spot as the greatest nation on earth, they need to start putting forth the policies that help small businesses and entrepreneurs do their job. According to the World Entrepreneurship Forum, a global think tank dedicated to small business, some top methods for promoting entrepreneurship include:

  • Reform tax and regulatory environments so as to make it easier, faster, and less costly for entrepreneurs to set up enterprises.
  • Create entrepreneurship-friendly support institutions that provide technological knowledge, market information, business know-how, certification services, access to capital, and other essential business support.
  • Understand entrepreneurship by making it known that entrepreneurs are positive agents of social change, wealth creation, transparency, sustainability, and innovation.

If we had a comprehensive 21st Century Entrepreneurship Act it would include tax reform and regulatory ease. It would include immigration reform to woo the best and brightest entrepreneurs and engineers to our country. It would increase access to capital and help more startups actually start up.

Now Washington just needs to wake up and give small business a chance to save America. Write or call your congressperson and tell THEM to get to work!

Happy New Year and Motivational Post

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it a great 2011. This is, of course, our busy season but I ran across a good post that I wanted to quote for you here:

Every morning, we all wake up, and our houses may be worth less than the mortgages on them, and our 401(k)s may be worth less than our lunch, and our salaries or revenues or consulting bills may be down – maybe even down a lot – but we’re waking up in the U.S. of A., where every day is another chance to kick ass and take names.
Buck up, everyone, and go and achieve excellence.
It’s been a rough few years for most people in the USA, but hardly as bad as 90% of the people on planet Earth have it – most of them would gladly change places with you if you live in the USA. Always remember there is still plenty of opportunity in this great country. Never forget that each day is a new chance. 🙂

Small Business Alert – The Coming 1099 Tsunami

Monday, September 20th, 2010

One of the little-known provisions of the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) is that all businesses will in 2013 be required to submit 1099’s to the IRS for every vendor/supplier for which they spend more than $600. This will affect 30 million businesses and will generate hundreds of millions of 1099’s, millions of hours of accounting and paperwork headaches not to mention the productivity-sapping effect of implementing systems to track such expenses.

There’s more detail in this Wall Street Journal article about how today (9/14/10) they will attempt to strip that provision from the bill. As of right now it has failed.

The article gives an example of the 1099 provision that should prompt all small business owners to action. A trucking business, with dozens of trucks, will now have to issue 1099’s for every gas station where each truck spends more than $600 for something as basic as fuel – truly a paperwork nightmare.

Personally, MyNewCompany.com incorporates businesses in all 50 states. This typically includes us paying the filing fee for our clients to the state. Now imagine, state fees run from $25 to $500, we easily spend more than $600/year in the vast majority of states, we usually spend more than that in a day for bigger states like Texas, Florida and California. So basically we will be issuing upwards of 50 1099’s for that expense alone – that doesn’t include our dozens of other vendors.

When I started writing this alert, I didn’t even realize the effect on MyNewCompany until I wrote the previous paragraph even though I’d been aware of the law for a few weeks. Imagine the millions of businesses that have no idea of the new law, what they’ll need to track or even how to track it.

If you care about small business or are a small business owner, you need to contact your Congressperson and Senator and ask them to repeal the 1099 provision of the Healthcare Reform Act. It is a business-killing, paperwork nightmare that threatens to make an already bad economy even worse.

Rwanda Has A Faster Business Registration System than Most US States

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

In news that should be terrifying to most US states’ technology administrators, Rwanda (yes, that Rwanda) now has an online business registration system that is faster and easier than most US states. This system allows a person to form a company in Rwanda in 1 hour.

Compare this to the standard processing time of select US Secretary of States (as of June 2010):

  • California Secretary of State: 70 Days
  • Maryland Department of State: 75 Days
  • Nevada Secretary of State: 45 Days
  • New York Secretary of State: 20 Days
  • Washington D.C. DCRA: 40 Days

So if you want to file a DBA, incorporate a business or form an LLC in the United States, you will almost certainly have to wait longer than your entrepreneurial equivalent in Rwanda. This should be a wake up call to each US Secretary of State’s filing office: in the largest, most powerful economy in the world, we are now falling behind 3rd world countries (recovering from a brutal civil war) in the time it takes to register a business.

The number of new business registrations is an important indicator of the overall health of an economy and US State governments should make upgrading their systems a priority not only to make business startups faster, but to improve and streamline the internal operations of their own offices.

Small Business Now Most Trusted Group in the USA

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Small businesses are now more trusted than churches, colleges, the Obama Administration, Congress and the banks (no big surprise there). In fact, small businesses are now the most trusted group in the United States.

Small business is respected by at least 70% of Democrats, Republicans and Independents – there seems to be no political group that doesn’t overwhelmingly trust small business.

However, the poll also shows a striking lack of attention for small business from the Federal Government coming in as the most neglected group, just ahead of the Middle Class.

Of course this is not news to us, we’ve been singing the praises of small business for 9 years! We’ve also been keenly aware of the lack of Federal attention to the issues important to small business: too many rules and regulations, an out-of-control tax code, a health care system that still unfairly punishes small firms (health care reform or not), anti-competitive cooperation between big business and the government (including outrageous subsidies to large firms) and a laundry list of state and local issues.

In short, though small business is the most respected group in the US, it is the most neglected by government. This is a sad state of affairs considering most innovation and job creation comes from small business. It will ultimately be innovative startups, those brave few who actually start a company, that drag our country out of the current recession. The government should act like it cares.

The Fastest Cure to America’s Economic Problems

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Mavericks and serial entrepreneur has written a fascinating blog entry on the best way to cure America’s (and indeed the world’s) economic problems.

He shows why the debate about tax cuts and capital gains is unproductive:

You can cut taxes for 95pct of Americans and raise taxes for the rest. You can cut taxes for businesses and retain the Bush Tax Cuts. You can increase or decrease the capital gains tax 5 or 10pct either way.  Under both programs the deficit for the country will increase,  we will borrow and print more money.  5 or 10pct variance either way, given the big hole our economy is in wont matter.

and:

We are in an economic mess right now. It doesn’t matter who caused it. It’s here. It doesn’t matter what our Presidential candidates and their economic advisors come up with. Its meaningless. 

His solution is what has always been the driving force behind the American economy:

The cure for what ails is us the Entrepreneurial Spirit of this country.  We are a nation of people who encourage , support and invest in those of any and all age, race and gender who will use their ingenuity and come up with a new idea.

Its always the new idea that re energizes this country.  Industry, manufacturing, transportation, technology, digital communications, etc, each changed how we lived and ignited our economy and standard of living. Tax policy has never done that.  The American People have.

So what is the specific solution? :

What we need is our candidates to stop yelling at each other and starting looking at the American people and encouraging the best of who we are.  That is who I want to get behind. That is what I would like to see for our country. That is what will energize and motivate people to create companies and invent products that will  turn the economy.

The best time for little guys to start a business is when the big guys are worrying about surviving in theirs. You dont need to raise money. You need to be smart and be focused.  I had no idea until this current financial crisis that when I started MicroSolutions, my first company, it was in the middle of a very bad recession. I had no idea whatsoever. I didnt know what the tax rates were, and I didnt care. I had an idea, a floor to sleep on and a lot of motivation.

Now is the time for Entrepreneurs to step up and do our part for our country. Its up to us to start businesses and create jobs. That is the cure to this country’s economic problems.

So there you go, starting a business or managing and growing your existing business will get us out of this economic mess and back on the road to prosperity.

I also recommend his other article: The Best Equity is Sweat Equity, especially for those concerned about raising startup capital in this tight credit market.

FEIN Cancellation

Thursday, April 10th, 2008

People often wonder how to cancel an existing FEIN (Federal Employer Identification Number, also called a Federal Tax ID) when closing a business. The IRS has information available HERE on this topic.

We can make the process of closing an existing business simple and painless! Just visit our page on filing Articles of Dissolution to properly close your company and we can make sure your company is closed properly (and also prevent your company from having to pay recurring fees).