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Smith: Small-business people are unique; here’s how to tell if you are one

POSTED: March 25, 2008 5:00 a.m.

For some number of years comedian Jeff Foxworthy has entertained audiences with his brand of redneck humor. Lines such as "You know you're a redneck if your momma served SPAM shaped like a possum at your after rehearsal dinner" conjure up vivid images.

I would like to offer you some thoughts on how you know if you are a small-business person or not.
You know that you are a small-business person if:

You are the first person at the office in the morning and are the last person to leave at night.

The first call that you receive on Monday morning is from an employee telling you that he couldn't make bail Saturday night.

You have the IRS on your speed dial.

Your father-in-law is always telling you how he would run your business.

Your employee's paycheck is more than yours.

You really have an uncle named Sam and he always wants to borrow money from you.

Your customers think that you are running a charity.

The first question a job applicant asks you is, "How much vacation do I get?"

The first statement a job applicant makes is, "By the way, I'll need to be off the next two Fridays. Avon and Rayon want me to go to the beach with them."

An employee wants an advance on his first week's paycheck.

An employee is out for four consecutive Fridays to attend the funeral of four different aunts. This same employee also misses four consecutive Mondays in order to mourn.

Every high school yearbook, Girl Scout troop and other nonprofit call on you for a small donation.
A media salesperson tells you exactly what you want to hear about what their media will do for you.

Your competitors promise customers the world and only deliver a deserted island.

You have a passion for the business and can't wait to take part in it each day.

The business requires all of your time, energy, patience, money and anything else you can give to it.

The business takes you away from your family along with things that you once did for enjoyment.
You know that the customer is truly the boss of your business.

No one loves the business as much as you do.

J.C. Smith is a consultant for the Gainesville district office of the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, 770-531-5681. His column appears Tuesdays and at gainesvilletimes.com. First published Jan. 29, 2008.



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