Or, How Small Businesses Live and Die, Predicting the Future

You saw it coming.

You’re my friends, my clients, my business contacts, and I know you saw it long before the Big Boys began to tumble off their high horses.

You’re small, and you sense small changes in the atmosphere like the poor canary in the mine shaft.

The canary knew problems were afoot long before anyone else.

If miners paid close attention, the canary looked sick. Even without that much attention, they’d hear the warning: he stopped singing.

You began calling and writing to VisionPoints with plans and concerns almost a year ago. That’s a heck of an early warning system. Was anyone listening, in the wider world?

Then you got quiet. You stopped calling and emailing with plans and concerns.

Because my small business helps other small businesses grow, we’re pretty sensitive to changes in your business’ health. When things got quiet, we knew what you feared.

When the atmosphere really got toxic, the canary sometimes died.

Big businesses have big budgets to mask big problems, but small businesses cut it close every day. Many stopped trying to grow, when they first sensed small changes in the atmosphere.

Some will survive because they saw the recession coming and tightened their budgets. Maybe not thrive, but survive.

The sad part is, some died because they saw it coming—they tightened the belt too much, and died because they stopped trying to grow.

By the time the big, strong miners are getting sick it’s far too late. Coal miners knew this, and they started acting long before that.

Governments, apparently, don’t.

There’s good news. Now that so many Big Boys are sick, governments around the world are acting.

When this is over there will be fewer Big Boys—and a lot more small businesses.

More canaries to sing when the air is clear and fresh. The ones who survive will be battle-hardened, and the new ones will be fresh and raring to go.

Lately, you’ve been calling and writing to VisionPoints again, making plans for growth. You sense small changes all around. Little birdies, trying to tell us the air is clearing. That’s a heck of an early indicator.

Are you ready to sing?

 

Grow and be well,

Kelly Erickson