The Challenge to Small Business Owners

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According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, small businesses (typically less than 500 employees) make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses and, collectively, employ half of the U.S. working population. That is wild! That is power! Sadly, we are witnessing that it also turns out to be our economy’s, Achilles Heel.   

I am a small business owner of a boutique law firm that primarily serves small business owners. I love what I do! Why? Because small business owners are passionate about what they do. They are risk takers. They know no fear. They are the “Davids” to the “Goliaths.” They are inspiring. And to me, a small business owner, my clients’ successes fuel my passion and drive. They continuously remind me that we must be innovative. That we must always be looking to change the way we do things. The way we deliver services to our clients.

All that said, I must admit that these last seven to eight weeks have been challenging. I have seen what this crisis has done to my clients and to my own practice. I have seen and felt the desperation of my clients in having to lay off and/or furlough employees. Business owners that must decide between paying their rent or their mortgage. I have felt inadequate and useless at times when I’ve had to respond, the contract/lease does not allow for termination. Or the customer has a right to that deposit. How can this be? I am supposed to be the problem solver!

Where to Start

From a legal perspective, my advice to my clients, and to any business owner reading this article, first let’s check your contract/lease and see what your options are. Second, let’s find a solution that both parties can live by. Be flexible. Remember, your supplier, vendor, landlord, etc. are also hurting. From a business perspective, reconnect with the entrepreneur within you and be innovative. For example, what can you do differently to move your business on to a virtual platform? Work on the long-term projects you’ve been putting off like trademarking your brand, creating a social media campaign, etc. 

This is the toughest period of time we have all had to endure since the Great Depression. But, we have survived other catastrophes such as major hurricanes, the Great Recession, 9/11, wars, etc. And, we will survive this! Remember, be flexible, be nimble, and, most of all, be innovative. 

Stay safe, stay strong. 
Lillian A. Ser, Esq. Owner & Managing Attorney of SER & Associates

the challenge to small business owners
Lillian A. Ser, Esq.