I have owned three businesses in my life, I came out of all of them with more than I put in. There has been a good deal of talk both here and in the
media on many topics revolving around how businesses operate. I thought I would share my perspective and observations from some personal experiences.
All three of my businesses were involved in dealing with the public daily. I have experienced the ups and downs of being an owner/operator
entrepreneur. I have worked close to a year without a day off. Made money and lost money and made it back again. I have met many people and had the
privilege of serving them and receiving payment from them for what I sold. In the end I sold all of them and walked away without debt and with a
I had two restaurants and a retail establishment dealing in home goods and accessories. I employed anywhere from 20-25 people at each location and
hundreds over the 15 years total that I was in business with all of them. I have dealt with suppliers, manufactures, state and federal agencies
(including the dreaded Internal Revenue Service), attorneys and partners. All of these interactions, along with the daily operation of each business
lead me to one conclusion in regards similarity of operation; each business was a 'pass through'.
By that I mean we had our fixed charges: rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, supplies, etc. and anytime these increased each had to be absorbed by
the business until a point was reached where I felt my time and effort was not worth the reward and the newly incurred costs had to be 'passed
through' to the end user. You.
I am certain you have all seen this happen before. You go to your favorite family restaurant (maybe it was even mine) and the price of a pizza has
gone from $9.00 to $9.99. You ask 'why'? Let me show you.
I receive a notice from my landlord; your Common Area Maintenance charges have gone up due to the heavy snowfall this past winter, please remit $X
I receive a notice from my insurance; 'Due to escalating costs associated with insuring establishments with liquor licenses please see revised
calendar year 20XX policy with adjusted premiums. Please remit $X thousand dollars.'
I receive an invoice from a supplier; 'Please be advised that effective X 1st that all products will be increasing 4%, additionally the fuel
surcharge of 2% is still in place on all orders shipped by our vehicles. Thank you.'
I get a knock on the office door, it is one of the kitchen staff. 'I have been here X years and I was wondering if I could get a raise from X to
Y?'. If the person merited this I would oblige and thank them. If not I would explain and detail the expectations to earn such increase.
I receive a notice from the State of New Jersey. 'Dear proprietor, pursuant to NJ Tax Code xxxx.xx the new Corporate Business Tax will be effective
commencing on January 1st on next year. Please remit $800 prior to that point to prevent revocation of your corporate tax certificate.' (For those
uneducated in the legal shakedown that is New Jersey taxes this is basically a tax for owning a business so they can tax you on your real income.)
I receive a bill. 'Dear Mr. X, Public Service Electric and Gas has seen increasing costs to natural gas infrastructure, due to this, rates per therm
will go from X to X+2 effective next month. Thank you for your understanding.'
Etcetera, ad nauseum.
All of these increases are ultimately paid by one person. You, the consumer. The government raises taxes? You pay the increase. Insurance rates go up?
You pay the increase. Minimum wages go up? You pay the increase. Energy demand and prices go up? You pay the increase.
I did not go into business to become a charity. I went into business to make money
. Did it always happen regularly? Not at first and sometimes
not in the middle as well, but all in all I did well and I am not ashamed of that fact. I employed many good people, some of whom I still keep in
contact with. A few of which now have their own business
and asked me for advice on managing the same. I was happy to oblige them.
That advice was rather pointed. Enjoy what you do. Be better than your competition. And make sure your are profitable because no one else is going to
help you (nor should they). My philosophy on business is simple; you should be able to keep as much as possible and you should not expect to be bailed
out by anyone as that is not their problem. The risk and the reward both need top be present, and that is what motivated me and I am sure motivates
Stop and think next time you hear some talking head or politician saying 'we should tax this company X' or 'businesses should be paying Y' because
in the end they are not going to pay a penny of it, you are