|“Support small business” has become a big marketing tagline used by everyone from major banks to politicians. But what is a small business, and why should anyone care to support them? I could quote statistics, but don’t think they accurately capture the importance or spirit of the subject. With the recent events my team and I have been up against, I’m going to try to create a narrative based purely on my perspective.
According to this document from the Small Business Administration, a small business is an independent business with fewer than 500 employees… a definition which I think is quite dry. I classify a small business as an entity where passion for the products and services provided can be felt from the top person of the organization to the bottom; where there is an authentic respect and care in all internal and external human interactions. In a small business, there are only possibilities: freedom, innovation, and connection. Numbers are necessary for quantifying things technically, but I don’t think 500 employees or less defines a small business. A small business maintains space to honor its soul – a space that is lost as a business grows and excel sheets filled with sales numbers become the focus point of executives in fancy boardrooms far removed from everyday customers and employees.
Here is what large corporations have been delivering us in our industry:
Last year, a very large IT solutions provider was breached and took down 1500 businesses worldwide with ransomware (we have not, and do not use the breached product). The IT solutions provider was not penalized, and instead was assisted by the US government (too big to fail). This year, we have been dealing with price increases and lengthened commitment terms from many large vendors. To start, Microsoft increased prices and is applying a 20% penalty for those without an annual contract. In addition, two of our smaller vendors have been bought out by a large IT services provider who now requires 3 year contracts. Price increases from them are also on the way.
I do what can to stand up to large corporations, but there is no competing with Microsoft or Google. Sometimes, we don’t have any choice. However, when given the choice, I support those who wake up every day with fiery minds and hearts filled with passion to open their shop – those who create the experience behind the product or service, and fight every day for its soul.
You generously support us and our dreams to be the best we can. With your continued support, we’ll keep teaching our craft, telling our story, and moving our passion & care for connecting people and technology forward.
– Burak Sarac, Team Lead