Positive spin. We love the wording of this new press release put out by Microsoft: “Nearly 60 percent of small-business owners believe that 2009 will be as good or better than 2008.” Uh, maybe we missed something, but we didn’t realize 2008 was such a banner year. Call us crazy, but endless bailouts, record bankruptcies and a free-falling stock market aren’t exactly “good”. Since we’re experts are reading between the lines, we’ll tell you what the people at Microsoft really wanted to say: “A majority of business owners are praying that 2009 won’t be as god-awful as last year.” The study did turn up one finding we can all agree on: 86 percent of business owners are happier running their own business than working for someone else. Amen to that, brother.
You win! Now pay up. Cool, you just won the award for Best Burger Joint on your block. You can proudly hang that plague above the cash register. Or can you? The Better Business Bureau, in a new report, warns that some small business should be on the lookout for bogus awards. These scams usually come in the form of congratulatory email messages prompting you to claim your award in exchange for $80 or $100. How do you know you’re being scammed? Hint: you own a nail salon, not a burger joint.
Reader revolt. Sid Kemp, president of Quality Technology and Instruction, took umbrage at our recent post suggesting this is a less-than-stellar time to launch a new business. “I hold a different view,” he writes in an email. “This is a great time to start a business. People are highly dissatisfied, and customer dissatisfaction is a business opportunity.” He argues that more lasting businesses were launched during the Great Depression than any other time in U.S. history. He makes a good point, but soup kitchens don’t really qualify.
Some people are never satisfied. The American Small Business League groused that President Obama, in his latest major speech on the economy, failed to make single mention of America’s small businesses. Give the guy a break. It’s his first day on the job.