Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Last on the List

Here’s a great rant, worthy of it’s intent by my friend Chuck Blakeman, gutsy small business advocate. Tune in to my upcoming interview with Chuck. More proof that small business is “last on the list” of the Washington agenda regardless of of partisanship.

“Talk to any banker who used to give small business loans, and they will tell you very quietly and in complete anonymity that the reason their lending standards are beyond the reach of most healthy small businesses is because the government regulators are putting such pressure on them that they can’t adopt REASONABLE (not loose) lending standards. The pendulum has swung the other way and guess who’s coming-up short!

Seventy three percent of small businesses who need capital haven’t even bothered to apply because they know it’s useless - 43% get rejected – astonishing statistics. The 25 biggest banks control 32 percent more deposits than they did in 2006, but made 30 percent fewer small business loans.

This is your small business advocacy in Washington. In case you wondered if anyone is looking out for you, the small business owner, on either side of the aisle or in any of the halls of the giant bureaucracies there, you might think again.

I’ve said this in dozens of places on the internet for three years – access to capital is the #1 issue for small business and has been since October 2008. #2 is predictability from our govt., and #3 is regulations that hurt small business and help the big ones. The SBA says the #1 job growth sector is businesses with 1-9 employees and the #2 job growth sector is 10-19 employees. Then they, the rest of the government, and the giant corporations who all got us into this mess, continue to use this crisis to help each other just get bigger. Expect large donations from giant corporations to both sides next year.

Small business doesn’t want a bailout. And I personally don’t have time for recessions – I have somewhere I need to be with my business. None of the above make it impossible to succeed, but it does make it harder. And when government proactively kills jobs and small businesses like the State Dept. did on July 15, that is interventionism in commerce that is unacceptable and needs to be addressed, even if the SBA doesn’t have the spine to do it (in case you wondered, the SBA isn’t focused on small businesses under 19 employees).

Caveat emptor – for too long we have bought that someone in Washington is looking out for us. Think again. You won’t get help and you don’t need it. You can succeed without their help; just know that they are not in Washington to make it easier for you, but to make it easier for themselves and their giant corporation donors. It’s time to expose the game for what it is, one “big” scratching the back of another “big”, all at the expense of 28 million small businesses and the American economy.

This isn’t a lack of courage to act. This is simple self-preservation at work – both bigs (giant government and giant business) will protect their “bigness” at any cost, even the worst recession in history. And certainly without blinking an eye at the demise of small businesses.”

Thank you Chuck. Let’s face it we’re last on the list.

Mark Deo

Thursday, August 04, 2011
Uping the Ante on Web Presence in San Francisco

Join me in San Francisco this week with my friends at Cbeyond as I speak on how we can maximize our investment of time, dollars and resources in improving our web presence, social media or on-line marketing. With assets being scarce we must carefully prioritize where we should invest our time and attention. Surely for those who sell their products on the Internet this is an easier question to answer. But there are some basic tenants to increasing the chances that our investment produces an appropriate return. This presentation does NOT focus on the technical “how to” but rather on the “why should we” and the strategic elements of re-engineering your web presence. We will discuss why improving your on-line strategy and making it consistent with your off-line efforts will build brand continuity. We will also look at how “directive navigation” and the aggregation of relevant, timely content will produce greater attraction and participation from your target audience.

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