October 24, 2008
|Advocating For Small Business
Go talk to your customers.
Spend more time listening to them and less time listening to the
financial talking heads on TV.
Talk to every customer and remind
them just how important they are to you. Ask them how you can
help them today. Right now, somebody is buying something
from someone somewhere. It might as well be from you.
I know you donít do a politically-driven talk show, but give us
your take on the impact on small businesses of the tax plan
proposals presented by both presidential candidates.
In my opinion, Senator Obamaís plan is completely illogical
for small businesses because even those that make less than
$250,000 a year aspire to that. He says heís going to eliminate
or reduce capital gains for small businesses, but guess what?
Small businesses typically donít have much in the way of capital
gains. I donít think Obama really understands the fundamentals
of small businesses. As for John McCain, he actually gets it. He
understands that lower taxes will grow small businesses.
How about the impact to small business of both candidatesí
health care proposals?
Look, Iím no huge fan of John McCain, but his plan is actually
built on the idea of health care coverage that is portable and
deductible. In the 21st Century world, most people will have
six to eight different jobs in their career. If you have your own
policy, that your employer contributes to, but you went into
the marketplace and bought for yourself, you can keep your
insurance and take it with you to the next job. Obamaís plan
is stuck in the 20th Century model thatís basically beholding to
the concept of universal, single payer health care. I believe that
Americanís must change their thinking and become health care
consumers, not health care patients. In almost anything else we
buy in life, we know how much it costs and if we are getting
ripped off. Thatís not true with health care in America and
thatís where all the waste is. So in short, when it comes to taxes
and health care the small business candidate -- meaning which
candidate will probably be better for small businessesí bottom
line -- is probably McCain.
What do you think small business owners, including local radio
owners, can do to help get America through these tough and
challenging economic times?
Itís very simple. We have to continue to believe in ourselves.
Main Street believes in the marketplace. Wall Street doesnít
believe in anything. If there were any belief -- any trust, or
sanity -- on Wall Street, why would the Dow go up 400 points
in the morning and down 300 points that afternoon? Weíve
watched 700+ point swings in a single day on Wall Street in the
past couple of weeks. If you believed in the real, intrinsic value
of anything in your world, how could that happen? Although he
was widely criticized for saying it, McCain was correct when
he said that fundamentally the economy is strong. Our biggest
problem is a deficiency of trust in the marketplace and thatís
what glues everything together. Demanding transparency and
trust from business leaders is what will get the marketplace and
our economy back on track.
(You can learn more about Jim Blasingame at www.
At the risk of understatement, times are tough. Times
that demand you make tough decisions and have a tough
constitution. Riding the daily Wall Street roller coaster on your
desktop or iPhone is only slightly more stomach churning
than opening that latest 401K statement
that came in the mail. Yet, most agree that
in times of turmoil there are those who see
defeat and those who see opportunity. No
less than the Oracle of Omaha, Warren
Buffett advised this week, ďBe fearful when
others are greedy, and be greedy when
others are fearful.Ē
Thereís an old adage that says, ďWhen
elephants dance itís the ants that get trampled.Ē Itís not only
big business being impacted by the economic turmoil of these
days, itís also small businesses -- Main Street businesses.
And while much of our industryís daily news focuses on big
broadcast groups like Clear Channel, CBS, or Citadel, there
are still stations across the country that remain comparatively
small businesses, owned and operated by regional and local
owners. OK, so maybe you wonít find many of those stations in
New York, Los Angeles or Chicago, but you will still find them
in towns like Tyler, TX, Kalispell, MT and Clovis, NM.
To get some advice on how small media businesses can survive
and ultimately thrive in the tumultuous weeks and months ahead,
I decided to check in with Jim Blasingame, founder and host
of the Small Business Advocate Show. Syndicated nationally
through Skip Joeckelís Talk Shows USA, Blasingame is also
the bestselling author of Small Business Is Like A Bunch
Of Bananas and Three Minutes To Success, as well as a
syndicated columnist who has been recognized by Fortune
Small Business magazine as, ďone of the 30 most influential
people representing small business interests.Ē
Are things as scary economically as the media and politicians
say they are?
There are scary things going on, but theyíre not as bad as the
media is making it out to be. Sure, itís bad for the guys at AIG,
but if youíre a small business owner and you have a track
record, a business model that is working, and a relationship
with your local bank, you can get credit. It might be tough to
get a loan from Bank of America or Wells Fargo, but there
are literally thousands of local community banks and credit
unions that are making loans to small business owners right
now. I have always advised small business owners to have two
banking relationships with at least one of those being with an
independent community bank. That advice has turned out to be
downright prophetic in light of whatís happening right now.
Any advice for small business owners on planning for the
weeks and months ahead?
Turn off the television. Donít watch the Dow averages, or listen to
the talking heads. It will make you nuts and put you in the wrong
frame of mind with the wrong attitude.
© 2008 News ē Talk ē Sports Aircheck ó All rights reserved. To subscribe visit www.ntsaircheck.com