If you want to know about the major issues facing small business a new survey by the National Small Business Association makes it clear. The top two are ones that I know well; the cost of healthcare and the amount of time I spend just trying to figure out regulations.
When I testified in Washington, DC before the House Committee on Small Business in 2015 I said, “Time and again, I hear from my small business clients and suppliers about their desire to have a more simplified approach to complying with federal regulations and their paperwork requirements. Yet, more often than not, small-business owners find themselves buried under mountains of paperwork when they could be helping their customers, hiring new employees and expanding their businesses. For a small business, I have a lot of advisors. Just to give you a sample, I use an accounting firm, an insurance firm, a corporate lawyer, an HR lawyer. In the past, I used an environmental lawyer for issues with a building I wanted to buy. And the list goes on. It’s not that I don’t love lawyers, my brother is one, but each one of these resources is costing my company money and the time to deal with all of the regulations.”
It is interesting that in 2017, not a lot has changed. In fact, at a time when businesses are craving simplicity, complexity is what we are getting. I would love to get simple instructions, requirements that I could understand and that are more black and white than grey. I would also love to get back some of the time I spend on paperwork. One of the things I love about data is that it confirms what I think I know intuitively. According to the report, http://www.nsba.biz/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Regulatory-Survey-2017.pdf business owners are spending more than 20 hours a month and at least $12,000 a year dealing with regulations.
Today there is some good news, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Linda McMahon as U.S. Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It was, according to many, a rare show of bi-partisanship with a vote of 81-19. McMahon is known as a former wrestling entertainment executive. I am hoping she takes on the fight for small business and gets some big wins.