Corporate Finance & Governance | Training & CPE

How do you measure success?

This post is inspired by two posts -- one from fellow bloggers at Small Business Labs titled Gazelles, Cheetahs, and Traditional Small Business, and the related post from Dr. Jeff Corwall's blog, The Entrepreneurial Mind, titled, The Real Economic Hero. Together, these posts put forth the concept that the real driver of our economy is small business, or as Dr. Cornwall puts it, "The Real Economic Hero."

Dsc07601MACPA and SBA
Before I get onto the subject of the post, I have to share some exciting news with you. Today, we worked on a "strategic alliance" with the Small Business Administration's Baltimore District Office. Pictured at left is SBA District Director Stephen Umberger, Economic Development Team Leader (and MACPA member) Oliver J. Phillips, and yours truly in my office working on bringing all of the resources of the SBA to our CPAs in business and those in practice for their clients.

Steve and Oliver (also known as O.J.) will be presenting two sessions at our upcoming Maryland Business and Accounting Expo. They will do a general session on all of the resources available to Maryland's businesses, from the popular financing programs to government certification programs, SCORE, and even how to take advantage of the BRAC. The second session will be on what CPAs need to know about SBA programs that can help their clients and companies.

They pointed out that there is still attractive financing available to small businesses if you know what to ask for. And they offered to help us ask the right questions! They were excited to be a part of the expo and share the same mission -- to help Maryland's business community start, grow and succeed!

We think the small business sector is a critical part of Maryland's economy, and it turns out we were right. According to the SBA, Maryland has 536,200 small businesses that employ 1.1 million people, or 53.3 percent of the state's workforce (non-farm, private employment). The latest statistics show that Maryland businesses added 47,700 net new jobs between 2003 and 2004 (latest available data).

Now read on from Dr. Cornwall's post:

"Those boring little entrepreneurs who toil away with only their own investment -- maybe with a little help from their family and friends -- is what really drives today's entrepreneurial economy. It is these small businesses that now generate about 50 percent of the U.S. economy and have created 77 percent of new jobs for the past 20 years."

So how do you measure success?
I like Dr. Cornwall's definition in his post: "Rather than measuring success in terms of mind-boggling returns to investors, the average entrepreneur measures success in terms of making a living for his/her family, by creating good jobs, by becoming able to contribute to building a better community."

This is the foundation on which the CPA profession was founded -- the public interest of business that ultimately required an independent and objective professional who would become the expert in the language of business.

It turns out that many of our members are themselves small businesses and support small businesses. Almost half of our 10,000 members work in small CPA practices or directly for small businesses. In addition, they serve small businesses by helping them understand the economics and financial aspects to help them create profitable and sustainable organizations and protect their family's wealth. That is why we like to say, Maryland counts on CPAs!

Making a living, creating jobs and building a better community are good definitions of success in my book. I want to take this time to celebrate small business and all of the CPAs who are small businesses and work in or serve small businesses.

Here's to all the successful businesses, and especially our unsung heroes in the small business community!

Stay tuned for more news from the SBA and MACPA. And don't forget to come out and see Stephen and O.J. at the Maryland Business and Accounting Expo on June 17-18 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

Here is a link to the SBA's Maryland District Office.

How do you define success?