If it was within my power to change one thing that would genuinely help small business operators, it would have to be this.
I would find a way to have a board or advisory council of long term successful business owners to make decisions that relate to running a business. As it is we have politicians, public officials, academics and the like making policy and from where I sit, the decisions they make and the policies they implement rarely show any understanding or appreciation of how a small business operates in the real world.
In my view, policies made by such people are based on theories more than real world experience and business owners are the ones who suffer most from this.
Honestly, as a business owner, I’d feel far more comfortable and confident if people like Gerry Harvey or Lindsay Fox were deciding small business rules and regulations than I would to see people, no matter how many letters they have after their name, who have never run a small business from the front line telling us how it’s going to be.
I’m an honest hardworking small business owner with about 10 employees but despite that, I know that if an official from Work Cover, the Tax Office, Fair Work or any other government department walked into my business, they won’t care one iota about whether I’m honest or not, or even if the circumstances make me an innocent victim of some sort, if I’ve got a loose power point or I’ve got a wage payment wrong, I’m gone.
The reason I live in fear, like so many others, is because I’ve heard of so many cases where a small business owner has gone for a ride simply for not getting one of the million rules and regulations we have these days, right. In such cases, it would be nice if the authorities took into account the big picture of what that small business owner contributes to society and didn’t just focus on an innocent mistake or oversight. There’s an old saying I like that says “rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of fools”. Shame more powerbrokers don’t act like wise men (or women).