I was on Twitter and got myself into a couple of interesting debates over badmouthing British Colombians for voting to repeal the HST… OOPS! Now let me be clear, I am not saying HST is good or bad, I do think that the introduction of it lacked something and that the way the repeal was managed lacked something too… that said, HEY HEY HEY!!!! I am still PROUD of my fellow British Colombians for a few reasons!
I felt compelled to say that I feel proud of the fact that British Colombians voted for something! In fact 54% of us voted for something and 45% of us either didn’t vote or voted against something… That is more voting that has gone on to elect premiers for the province and in some cases Prime Ministers for the country so HEY! How do you like them cranberries BC! Nice!
Our voting history in British Columbia, well it kinda sucks and its got a direct impact on business, being a business strategist this matters to me so I thought HEY lets share a little data with our Blog followers:
http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/gsthst/ This is the Governments explanation of HST Take it or Leave it, its detailed to the ying yang and its accurate if boring and hard to stay with long enough to figure out what it says OR means! No one I have ever met in small business has the time or inclination to dig through this pile of endless data!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonized_Sales_Tax Better… but not so much!
Its REALLY hard to get good readable everyday business person datasheet on the HST – How was anyone supposed to “get” it.What they did was experience a $6 dollar tax hike to a $32 meal which they understood easily and immediately.
Now what I know about people ( don’t get your knickers in a knot over this) is that they are generally lazy if its not an immediate impact for them! It’s human nature and its true and that has proven true on multiple continents to me. What impacts us immediately and directly is our experience and we will react and choose based on THAT. Thus.. HST didn’t go over well!
Did it get a bum wrap, well maybe yes… that said, those who brought the HST into place did not serve their voters well otherwise it never would have been repealed by the voters – FACT. Results, “often harsh always fair”.
Statistics about British Colombian Voters
1610125 valid votes cast August 26, 2011
4,554,085 Total BC Population April 1, 2011
3,063,170 Total Registered Eligible Voters in BC August 26, 2011 http://bc2013.com/
Now this is more interesting to me than any of the above… WHY, because it tells me a lot about my local market doesn’t it. It tells me that they are more interested in what is happening TO them immediately, IN their day to day life experientialy, where they manage and control things directly… and they are NOT able to care too too much about what is going on with the government that is mandating things that impact their business! They just don’t have the bandwidth to take in in and take it on!
Now if you take into account that 97% ( YES that is a statistic) of all business in North America is small business, and if our electoral experiences tell us anything about how they are behaving and what they are paying attention to… well, you have to agree that this is market research isn’t it – even if I don’t personally like what I am seeing, its what I have to work with and deal with day in and day out with small business.
Did you know that 75% of the small businesses in BC are Service oriented… THOSE FOLKS ARE TIRED and they don’t have the bandwidth left to dig through the mountains of data required to understand laws on government websites, no wonder they don’t respond to things like repealing the HST based on FACTS rather on Experiences they understand they are having… they didn’t get to FEEL the benefits and they don’t KNOW them … so the HST gets repealed… makes sense to me… to them its like survival!
Now if you have an enterprise, guess what, you have the resources to get this information dissected and digested and input into your corporate team, systems, governance and data banks and its not a worry… but if your small business, ughhh tough nut to swallow. The typical small business owner is CEO, CFO, CIO, CTO, Marketing team, Sales Team, Janitor etc… all in 2-10 employee’s.
http://www.localtrifecta.com/2011/01/small-business-statistics-in-british-columbia/ Here is a great little article on small business in BC with good links if you want to explore yourselves.
If the vote results, and the statistics here don’t give you a darn good little snapshot of whats going on with small business decision makers well… stop marketing, stop business advising… cause your not going to “get” it or them! And, for crying out loud don’t be blaming the small business guy cause he didn’t take more on and master the HST data dump of information!
Good Luck Small Business BC… We are one of you and we GET what its like for you, here to help and guide you through those difficult moments when you realize you can’t do it all yourself!
To your Prosperity, warm cookies AND a nap!