The term "small business" has always bothered me. When I was younger, I'd tell others about my budding business ventures and it seemed the responses I got always smacked of condescension. "Well, good luck with your small business." Their emphasis always seemed to be on the word "small."
Hey, it didn't feel small to me!
I had plans. I had hopes and dreams. I was working hard to grow the business. Why did everyone respond in belittling ways? By the way, I prefer the term "small and growing business" over "small business." It communicates the hope, ambition, and drive that characterize most small businesses.
It seems to me that the small business owner just doesn't get much respect. Same goes for the employees of that small business. After all, if you're working away at a company with five employees, how much respect does Uncle Jim give you at the family reunion compared to the respect your brother gets because he's working at Microsoft? Yep, no respect for the little guy.
But actually, that's not such a big deal. It doesn't bother me that Uncle Jim pays no attention to small businesses.
Here's what does bother me: The business world doesn't pay much attention to small businesses.
And that's a big problem if you're a small business trying to get your hands on top-notch resources to help you grow your business. For years, Corporate America has feigned interest in small businesses. You hear marketing dribble about "the mid-market" and "small-to-mid-sized businesses."
But when you take a closer look at products offered to these "SMBs" you quickly realize these products are intended for companies with "under 1,000 employees" or "less than $500 million in annual revenues." Uh, yeah... that doesn't seem like small business to me. So, it's been pretty frustrating for small businesses over the years. But something's changing, and it's good news for small businesses. More and more, technology vendors are popping up, providing powerful products and services to true small businesses.
Of course, our company, Infusionsoft, is serving these businesses. But I'm seeing many others out there taking genuine interest in true small busiensses. And I think that's a GREAT thing for all of the entrepreneurs and small business owners out there looking to grow their companies.