President Obama found out quickly that the conventional wisdom was that he would need to put his head on the chopping BOC of the Big Old Companies if he was going to gain the credibility needed to get them to be part of his economic solutions. The sad fact is that the only reason we don’t have a stronger economy now is because the BOCs refuse to release the stranglehold they have on cash in order to encourage more consumer involvement. Instead they are just trying to tweak the current struggles to their own advantages, no matter whether their ideas are still appropriate or not.
A BRIEF ASIDE: What is funny about this is that, when old age and the necessity of a lifestyle change sets in to the men of the BOC sector, many have started turning to an entirely different path, perhaps seeking to build a better profit trap. Take a look at the Global Impact Investment Network, for example, to see how many are doing to redirect their investment qua charitable bucks for their own legacy value. Self interest in this case may actually have something going for us all!
Anyway, as this piece is being written, the President is meeting with a selected few smaller companies. By the looks of the list of participants, it might well be a pretty good collection of SNCs (Small New Companies) and SOC, though it is not entirely clear the interests behind this collective. Still, there is little doubt but that their advice will be different from what the BOCs are serving up.
I hope the small business leaders are recommending a strategy that encourages true innovation and that frees immediate cash based on actual consumer buying patterns. If so, they might just find these suggestions useful:
• SMALLEST OF SMALL EMPOWERMENT: Whether real or just campaign dramatic, the next administration’s Secretary of Business must start by recognizing that not all small businesses are struggling in the same waves of crisis. Making Mom & Pop stores of all varieties respond in the same ways to their challenges is not appropriate. Big and medium size businesses are different the true small one that are just a few owners and employees where trust and purpose has value.
• LET’S MOVE RETAIL: The small retail sector needs its own Let’s Move initiative. While America’s people are dying from being fat, America’s Main Street retail businesses are more often dying from starvation. A “Let’s Move” retail incentive effort captained by a credible Proprietor-in-Chief could lead the Shop Local ship on a new course.
• BUYING POWER: We need to develop purchasing-based transactional agreements so that loans or credit card/ATM sales can be repaid electronically in proportion to how sales are actually made. The technology exists and there are smart ways to identify which businesses have established credible business foundations worth saving.
• NEW RULES: Policymakers have to look at virtual resource spaces like The New Rules Project. If you aren’t sure what it is, have a look here.
• TECHNO-TRUST: When the federal government funds technological innovations, it turns over access to the knowledge to the markets. It’s getting better and fairer with small businesses, but much more has to be done to turn these potentials to Main Street entrepreneurs as well. If we like the idea of having small towns and villages that can work on a global economy of scale, they need a bit of a technology hand up. The White House can do this without Congressional assistance and it would likely offer up an impressive ROI.
On the road. Discovering the street look of The New Man.