It is amazing how many were awaiting the federal election outcomes as well as state initiatives before they made any changes/ decisions/ or plans for the future.
The election and our representatives make a huge impact on our lives, but in the normal course of business and business ownership…not so much. In many cases it is an excuse to delay decisions. So with that said, let’s address the next six weeks, but more important, the New Year which will be here before you know it.
The question of the State of California being “business friendly” remains a hot topic and the truth is; we are NOT. You can find many rankings, some biased and others less opinioned, but California usually ranks very low on the scale. Criteria vary, but generally these are some of the issues that are ranked:
- Cost of Doing Business
- Quality of Life
- Infrastructure & Transportation
- Technology & Innovation
- Business Friendliness
- Access to Capital
- Cost of Living
Texas, Utah and Virginia are usually at the top, and California is usually in the lowest 20% percentile. Cost of doing business, which just went up due to Prop 30, is one of our worst benchmarks, along with the general malaise of our state economy and the appearance (reality) of being perceived as “business unfriendly.” We score high in technology and innovation, access to workers and weather. The Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest and most objective endowments in the country, puts California at the worst in taxes with an “F” grade, among just four to get that grade, which include Vermont, Rhode Island and Hawaii. Much of that means nothing to the average business owner or reader of this column, since most have few or no employees, and have a tax burden that is modest.
So for the next six weeks I challenge you to do an HONEST assessment of your business and discover what you are doing right; what you are doing wrong, and what can and should be changed. Is the “recession” over? Who knows, but either way it need not affect your business. Survey your clients, including those you DO business with, those you USED TO have as customers, and those you never engaged. Find out the WHYS behind their status. The results may surprise you.
As 2013 rolls around, make a decision and commitment to address all the results that come out of those surveys. While you are at it, also survey your competition and see if they really ARE better than you, or maybe they are just doing some things differently or better.
Comments or question are invited