A Memo to Big Business During Small Business Week

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To: Big Business

From: Steve Strauss

Date: Small Business Week, May, 2017

Re: Thank you

Big Business:

I wanted to take a moment to drop you a note to thank you for all you for us. Oh, I know, I often like to talk about how great small business is, and how much better it is than bigger businesses, what with our nimbleness and friendliness and lack of bureaucracy and all, but let’s face it, if it were not for you we would be in deep trouble.

Now, don’t get me wrong; it’s Small Business Week and of course there is a lot to like about the state of small business today. As I am wont to say, this really is the golden era of small business. Not only do more than half of all employees now work for small business, but we create more than 60% of net new jobs, and not only that, we have become sort of hip. People love small business, they shop small businesses, they support their local small business, and small business people tend to love what they do. Creating a business, employing people, and working hard at something you love is very gratifying.

Just today I was reviewing the latest Allstate / USA TODAY Small Business Barometer and saw some stats that bear this out:

  • On a scale of 1-100, a whopping 92% of small business owners surveyed said they were quite “optimistic” about their business. And, what’s more,
  • 62% said that, “there has never been a better time to own a business.”

Now that’s quite a statement. Why all of the enthusiasm?

One reason, a big and main reason, and the motive for this memo, is you Big Business. Frankly, we couldn’t do it without you. We appreciate the support you give us generally, but more specifically, we rely heavily on the plethora of products, services, and tools you have been creating for us lately. Whether it is the latest app or device, or a new point-of-sale system or marketing service or what have you, you are helping us to run our businesses better, more efficiently, and more professionally, powerfully, and profitably.

Not only that, but these products and tools enable us to stay small (which most of us want, despite our protestations to the contrary), and yet look and act big. It is a sweet spot to be in, this place you have helped create for us.

Let’s take my friends at Microsoft for example. I have worked with Microsoft in a variety of capacities for almost a decade. What always impresses me, especially lately, is the company’s commitment to small business. When I talk about how big businesses are making small business tools that make our small business lives so much easier and better, this is what I am talking about:

  • How do people work today? Often it is with remote teams. We want to be able to work when, where and how we want. Office 365 allows us to do just that, with its real-time online collaboration tools. Love that.
  • We want devices that speak to our inner-geek, and so yes, the latest 2-in-1 computers running Windows 10 do exactly that. Is it a laptop? Is it a tablet? Yes.
  • And when we need to know what is working and what is not, we can turn to the sort of analytics tools that, well, you guys use.

So yes, while it is right to celebrate small business this week, I just wanted to say that on behalf of my small business brothers and sisters out there, thank you Big Business. It is not always easy doing what we do and keeping the dream alive, but it sure is a heck of a lot easier and more fun with the help and support you give us.