I'm a business person with ten employees. I find it hard to remain competetive, make a profit, fund healthe insurance, and pay my employees a fair wage. What would you suggest I do?

    This is a common complaint of employers. My response is that they need to attract a partner. They need new ideas to change their business model. The question is rigged. They are framing their situation to generate a specific answer. The answer the person asking would like to hear is that there is nothing they can do except cut back on wages and benefits.

    I say, if you can't win at the game you are playing, change the game. A business that can't produce enough revenue to pay employees and fund benefits is applying a poor business model or managing their business poorly. What do you think?

    +1  Views: 697 Answers: 8 Posted: 4 years ago

    Please note, this is a worldwide general question and answer forum. All questions are answered by volunteers. This sounds like a letter you should be writing to Pres. Obama if your company is in the USA.

    Just reread, you only have 10 employees. That exempts you from having to follow the mandates of Obamacare. Because of this, Pres. Obama does not care about your company. Sorry.

    8 Answers

    You said: "A business that can't produce enough revenue to pay employees and fund benefits is applying a poor business model or managing their business poorly. What do you think?"

    I do not agree completely. Yes, the owner can be accountable if he/she is not addressing the situation and investigating ideas to help the business. Location of said business and the fact that areas can over develop or decline due to a harsh economy can harm a business. The product the business produces may no longer draw interest in a poor economy. That said, the owner has to rethink the demand for this product. Has the business owner ever consulted a marketing expert? Has the business owner investigated cheaper suppliers for the material needed for the product? Does the finished product require shipping or is it sold at the same place it's made? How high of a paycheck is the owner getting? Just some things to think about. What kind of competition is there for said business? 


    Thanks Colleen. All the points you mention are related to competent business management. I'm attacking the false premise of rock and hard place positioning. I mention the partner option because new partners can often see opportunity that someone too close to the situation can't see.

    My suggestion would be to join your local Chamber of Commerce, talk with other business people, find a mentor, almost anything except ask here, at akaQA. How many business people do you suppose, have answered your question so far? Wouldn't you need to hear from those who have actually owned a business, been involved in B to B sales, been in management or supervisory positions or have a business oriented education?

    Well speaking as someone who had a business for 40 years, employed about 8 people at one time, and finished up two years ago with nothing,after doing everything myself for the last 4 years, I would say get out of it , get yourself a job that pays a reasonable wage, and also a pension at the end of it. Unless you are making a good liveing in business it's just not worth it.


    Business people work long hours hoping for a pay off at the end of it and sadly, that isn't always the case. I'm sorry that it didn't have a good ending for you. :(

    Thanks Ducky, it was this ressesion that finished my business off , well if I had been 20 years younger I may have had the will and the fight to continue, but it would have meant borrowing more money , and that didn't seam like a good idea at the time. Now I just work part time for someone else, helping to run their shop, less hassle, and I am much more relaxed and content. So I think it was the best thing I did when I closed the business down.

    I've watched business people struggle right to the end, when bad times have hit. They look tired and old and I think that that is no way to end your working years. I'm glad you have at least some kind of "relaxation" while still keeping your hand in the work world. You are no doubt a real asset to the business.

    What type of business?


    See his profile for information.

    On the one hand, he states that he runs a non-profit organization, yet on the other,it's hard for him to "make a profit." I'm confused.

    Non profits are allowed to have a budget to pay for the help doing the work.
    The IRS (which governs the tax-exempt status) allow a nonprofit to pay reasonable salaries to officers, employees, or agents for services rendered to further the nonprofit corporation's tax-exempt purposes.

    Doesn't matter. My argument is simple: if a business, after all efforts are tried, cannot support a fair wage with benefits for the people generating profits then they need to do something different. A business is not a viable concern if it cannot pay employees a fair wage.

    For example, if they sell hamburgers and they're getting beat by McDonalds even while selling for less, they should consider pizza to go, gourmet coffee, or adding entertainment. If they look at the people buying at McDonalds, they could consider what those people need and want that McDonald's doesn't sell.

    Clonge, understand that my question is a hypothetical one. It isn't one that I have, it is one many small employers claim. The ten employee scenario is given only to illustrate the common small business claim. Non-profits typically underpay, and mine is arguably no exception. In fact, I've worked for the non-profit for five years without pay. That is serious underpay.

    My non-profit uses volunteers and interns to get work done. This sounds like slavery, but we teach the interns far more than they produce. In four years, interns have not developed a single course, though we've helped dozens get good paying jobs as a result of their participation.

    I find that some well-funded non-profits (we don't fall in that category) take advantage of the industry patter for underpay, despite good funding.

    Sounds like you could provide help to those you had contact with before. AT&T has personnel needs for what you can offer. They always search for ways to improve staff competenticies. Structure yourself a little different , how you gain business. The New York offices would be the best start. Employee development is what they look for , from my past experience.

    Time to do a real overhaul on expenses.  Cut where you can.  Automate wherever possible.  Look into better health plan options.  Cut back on bonuses, overtime, and other "non-essential" employee expenses.  You may need to move your operation to a less costly site.  

    If you were speaking of your own situation, you would probably already be talking with someone who could help you cut costs and increase profit without affecting your employees' wages or benefits.  Not knowing what or where you business is located doesn't help our responses to be more appropriate, either.  

    Where there is a will, there is a way.  

    since you're having trouble covering all your employees, that means you have too many employees.

    I don’t follow trends. Many are facing problems like you have described. Profits are down and cost are up….so it is time to break down barriers to your success and go for the goals  of your business. What do you want from your business. Identify your goal and go for it. If your personal goal is retirement go for that. If it is increasing your income to more than make up for the rising cost, go for that. Your happiness is what really matters. Enjoy what you are doing and be happy or choose to be happy. The choice is yours.  

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