Enough Already NY! speaks out Sherry Bruck
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April 20, 2010
The Game has Changed
I’m Sherry Bruck
There’s no denying that we had a rough 2009.
We scrutinized our fixed costs and searched for cuts to make, and finally had to do what is the unthinkable for a small business—we cut staff. And then when we thought there was nothing more to cut, we cut more.
We called EVERYONE and renegotiated EVERYTHING.
We reduced our rental space.
We handled our own IT.
We cut subscriptions and memberships.
We stopped attending events.
We combined job descriptions.
We worked harder and later.
The "core", as we called ourselves, got creative and learned do things we never thought possible. Not because we wanted to, we had to.
Now that things are percolating again we’ve realized it's not all about recovering from the recession and getting back to business as usual.
The business model has also permanently changed because of the internet and extreme specialization. Recently when quoting a dental website, I competed against a Maryland firm that does ONLY dental websites. Their labor costs are cheaper, and their narrow specialization and repetitive process allows them to hone the assembly line and operate like a factory. Then add the fact that anyone can buy photography, illustration, music, and video footage online at ridiculously low rates and you begin to see whole professions disappearing.
So at what price does this paradigm shift come to the local, state and the federal government? As our business revenues go down, our staff levels go down, our tax bills go down and the tax revenues go down.
Now it's Albany's turn to face the harsh realities that small business owners faced in 2009. They need to take a look at what looks like a bare bones budget and cut. And when they have cut as much as they think they can bear, they will probably need to cut more. Because the old business model no longer works. And raising taxes will just drive those who are considering jumping statelines, to jump sooner.
“They” say that things happen for a reason and I definitely feel the pain that Albany leaders are going through. I love thinking about the good old days when money flowed more easily. But from experience I can say, “Forget the good old days. It’s time to change.”
Sherry Bruck is owner and president of Harquin Creative Group www.harquin.com, a full-service marketing communications company and can be reached via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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