This guest post was submitted by Debra Newson of Texas (articles submitted as written with only minor edits)
TEXAS, July 28, 2012 — Meet the Newsons: They met in 1978 in college, started their business in 1980, married in 1981, and are still going strong. They have raised two children, one of them also a small business owner, and they are enjoying their four grandchildren.
Mr. Newson started his welding business in 1980 building custom horse trailers and utility trailers. When the Savings and Loan crash happened in the 80’s, trailer sales declined sharply and Mr. Newson changed the angle of his business and looked for another niche.
He did some pretty dangerous work to make ends meet. He sandblasted water towers for a while, until Mrs. Newson found out he actually had to crawl under some of them while they were being suspended by a crane! So on to sandblasting swimming pools and curbs.
Now back to welding, the company builds a variety of custom steel products.
Mrs. Newson worked in various business offices until getting hired for a large insurance company in 1985. She worked there for 21 years, until their two children grew up and graduated from college.
Walking away from a good salary and would-be retirement benefits, she chose in 2006 to join Mr. Newson in the family business. Why, you may ask? Because the Newson’s are confident in their own abilities, work ethic and future success.
In addition to helping out in the family business, she is also self-employed as an independent REALTOR. Construction and Real Estate! Need I say more about the havoc this economy has wreaked?
By the grace of God, they reside in Texas and are thankful for it because they know other markets are much worse off.
What our president, and many others who have never run a business do not understand is the toil and sacrifice it takes to keep a business going – especially in tough times like these. This downturn in the economy has cost every bit of the wealth it took a lifetime to acquire.
During these lean times, the Newsons chose to do everything they could to keep their two salaried employees. Does that sound like evil business owners to you?
With the hope the economy will turn around, the Newsons understand that they will need the skill of their employees to meet demand when the work starts flowing again. Beyond that, they consider their employees to be part of the family. Mr. Newson trained both of his employees when these young men were in high school. Loyalty goes both ways.
There is a concept for you that is all but dead in corporate America! It still means something among small business owners.
Now let’s talk about bailouts for small business owners during this fiasco of an economy. Yes, bailouts. Not bailouts from the government or U.S. Tax payers. These bailouts come by liquidating personal assets.
As small business owners, when times are tough and profits slim to none, they pay their employees and expenses first. Often there is nothing left to pay themselves.
Most people equate employment with a paycheck, but working for free, as many small business owners do from time to time, doesn’t count as being unemployed, so they aren’t even eligible for unemployment benefits.
So what do they do when there is not enough to go around and they have to forego a paycheck? Well, provided they’ve saved in better times, they draw from personal savings. Once that is gone, they draw from retirement funds (even if the funds were acquired by working for another company); which by the way comes with penalties, so they are actually penalized for bailing themselves out!
Don’t get me started on that one — it’s another whole ball of wax!
Many go on to mortgage their homes and sell every asset they own to keep things going. These are the risks the small business owners face every day. Yes, the rewards can be high when the time is right and everything falls into place.
But ask any small mom and pop business owner, and they’ll tell you it is a daily struggle to make everything fall into place. In times like these, depending on the industry your business falls into, even if you do everything right, there is no guarantee you will succeed.
Those who have never owned and run a small business cannot begin to comprehend the blood, sweat, and tears that go into building and hanging on to a business. It is not for the faint of heart and not for quitters.
If this is not “Building It” then I don’t know what is!
— Debra Newson
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