What's the biggest challenge for small business right now?
This is a question that lawmakers, journalists and concerned citizens ask me every day. And I’m glad they’re asking; it shows they care.
The trouble is, I can never give them the answer they’re looking for. Because all too often, these folks are looking for one solution that might solve all the problems of small business. Of course, it isn’t that simple.
Small business owners’ biggest challenges might be better measured on a day-to-day basis. Today, your challenge might be reaching a customer who hasn’t paid his invoice. Tomorrow, it might be checking in with your attorney because someone has threatened you with a baseless lawsuit. Through these daily challenges, long-term worries weigh on you like an anchor. The uncertainty of taxes and changing healthcare requirements puts a knot in your stomach. And the never-ending wave of state and federal regulations makes you feel like you’re drowning.
This year, NFIB gave members of Congress a chance to find out what these challenges really look and feel like. We gave this effort a fitting title: “The Small Business Challenge.” It turned the tables on elected officials, challenging them to spend a day in your shoes. Find out who took the challenge here.
In this issue, you’ll also find tips on responding to frivolous lawsuits, marketing your business on less than $1,000 and planning financially with an uncertain economic outlook. We hope NFIB’s new credit card program will help you plan for your future, too.
Sometimes the best way to tackle challenges is to learn from other owners in the trenches. In this issue, we’ve included a special report on the 3 million Hispanic-owned small businesses in the United States. In addition to learning about the unique strengths of this growing segment, you’ll also learn how your business can tap into the Hispanic consumer market.
As you consider your business’ future, I encourage you to become a nominator for the 2014 NFIB Young Entrepreneur Awards. Nothing will renew your faith in this nation more than spending some time with young people who are running their own businesses and working harder than their peers just because, like you, they want to be their own bosses. Find out more about being a nominator here.
I hope this issue of MyBusiness gives you reassurance that at least one group understands the challenges you face. At NFIB, fighting for your right to own, operate and grow your business is our challenge—and one that we embrace.