Don’t Be “That” Business Owner

Don’t be “that” business owner. ID-100259612

That’s what I tell business owners who complain about having to follow the laws, regulations, rules, etc.

Case in point: one time I was talking to a business owner who was venting about his insurance company and the fact that he had to carry workers’ comp insurance. And he was unhappy about payroll headaches.

He went on to say that he was driving around and saw a roofer with “a bunch of illegal immigrants up on the roof and you know he doesn’t have payroll set up or carry workers’ comp.”

His question for me was: “why should I do things the right way and spend all this money on insurance and payroll when this guy doesn’t do those things and he doesn’t get caught?”

My answer was: you don’t want to be “that” business owner.

Actually my answer was more detailed than that.

ONE: Is that Business Really Being Underhanded?

Unless you know the business owner personally or have inside information, you have no idea how that business is really operating.

TWO: Is that Business Owner Really “Getting By with It?”

I hear this one all the time, even from people who don’t own a business. “My brother-in-law deducts ‘this or that’ and he’s always gotten by with it.”

You have no way of knowing if they’re getting by with it. Just because someone isn’t in prison doesn’t mean they haven’t been audited.

THREE: Is that Business Really Successful or Stable?

From a distance, it can seem like certain businesses are operating outside the bounds of the law, getting by with it, and doing just fine.

And in the short term, that is true.

Compliance is a long-term strategy.

If you plan to have a business that lives for a long time, it’s more cost-effective to be compliant up front, even though it might not seem like it.

But when you get caught, it all comes crashing down and you could lose everything you’ve worked to build.

Why Am I Preaching About This?

Yes, I am being preachy in this blog post.

I deal with a lot of businesses that are in the startup phase. I see too many with preconceived notions of what they can “get by with.” I’ve seen and read about too many people whose life got turned upside-down when they ended up NOT “getting by with it” after all.

So don’t be “that” business owner.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /