Post-Election Top Tens

It’s been 2 weeks since America voted to “make America great again” and the emotional contrast between anguish and ecstasy is still fresh between the blue and red states and many individual voters. But how did it turn out for small business?

After the election, small business owners were asked to list what they’d like to see as a result of the election. The key issues:

  1. Healthcare costs
  2. Energy prices
  3. Job outsourcing to foreign countries
  4. Quality of education in the U.S.
  5. Federal budget deficit
  6. Situation in Iraq
  7. War on Terrorism
  8. General economic condition of the U.S.
  9. Inflation
  10. Current level of interest rates

Compare the list with President-Elect Donald Trump’s First 100-Day Plan:

  1. Impose term limits on member of Congress
  2. Impose hiring freeze for most federal jobs
  3. Eliminate/reduce government regulation
  4. Lift restrictions on the production of job-producing energy reserves
  5. Renegotiate or withdraw from current trade agreements
  6. Fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure
  7. Repeal/replace Obamacare
  8. 5-year ban on former White House/Congress officials becoming lobbyists
  9. Lifetime ban on WH officials becoming foreign lobbyists
  10. Complete ban on election fundraising by foreign lobbyists

While the lists don’t evenly match or compare, there’s little doubt that we’re all in for considerable change throughout 2017 and beyond. As service providers to small business, we believe that the most important tasks promised by our newly-elected President are to:

  • Repeal or replace the Affordable Care Act
  • Simplify the tax code and lower the business tax rate from 35% to 15%
  • Create more lenient banking regulations for both small and big banks

Illegal immigration reform as it pertains to small business will also be an interesting one to watch and will surely take up the news headlines in the coming months. At least for now, small businesses and entrepreneurs are hopeful that the brakes have finally come off that sluggish 4% average growth rate of the last 8 years.

Source:
Gallup
Trump’s First 100 Days

Tech Trends to Watch

The world of business is changing at the speed of technology. In an election year, especially this one, forecasting trends for the coming 1 – 3 years is more than daunting and is probably foolish. But we do know a few things:

  • People in small business are optimistic for growth. Entrepreneurs always are!
  • Cash flow and access to capital remain challenging. The banks don’t know the future either.
  • More businesses are offering telecommuting. Actually up 13% from last year.
  • Business owners are warming up to tech-savvy millennials and their tools for collaboration.
  • More employees prefer to communicate via email over meeting face-to-face or in conferences.
  • Technology is growing a “gig” economy and so far, freelancers aren’t asking for benefits or paid vacation.
  • Mobile has become mandatory. Websites and/or apps sink or swim on a positive mobile experience.
  • Your first impression is not your mobile impression. Make sure it’s up to the challenge.
  • Data security must be #1. We have to be smarter than some of our politicians on this one! As cloud computing replaces costly IT structure, small businesses are facing new and serious threats to data security. More than 12% were victims last year, and the bad guys are only getting smarter and more clever.

Small business is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these technology trends, especially those with the courage to move quickly. While it would be useful to gaze into a crystal ball and see the future for small business in Ohio, we will continue to watch the trends for you. But you must vote as an individual. See you at the polls!