There is a tremendous amount of information online for small businesses in Silicon Valley to absorb as 2017 begins. Let’s approach this with a different look at the numbers in preparing for a successful year. How are we doing compared to other USA companies?
Tips for Small Businesses in Silicon Valley
It’s no secret that freedom and privacy are at the core of Silicon Valley’s tech companies — but what about jobs? Mom-and-pop shops are facing more uncertainty than ever, and while some may consider this inevitable in the wake of mass digitalization, there are a number of things we can do to keep small businesses afloat.
Silicon Valley is automating jobs that once employed a significant portion of the U.S. population. Tech leaders, rather than creating jobs, are helping us work more efficiently with fewer employees. But creating only high-skilled jobs comes at a cost. If the 2016 election has taught us anything, it’s that tech leaders need to make sure they’re not putting smaller companies out of business.
Let’s Support Each Other
To stay afloat, small businesses ought to work with tech companies rather than compete with them. This holds especially true in Silicon Valley, where small business owners have astonishing access to tech leaders. Consider these figures: General Motors, a major manufacturer, boasts a revenue per employee of approximately $700,000 and approximately 200,000 employees. Walmart comes in with a steady number of revenue per employee of $220,000. Facebook has a revenue per employee of $1.4 million, Apple with $2.1 million revenue per employee with only 66,000 employees.
Look Closer At One Tech Company
Amazon, however, employs more people than one would expect of a tech company its size, which translates to a revenue per employee of about $464,000. And Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is setting an example for the rest of America — Silicon Valley included. In 2013, Bezos, who is worth $66 billion, spent $250 million to acquire The Washington Post, a labor-intensive public good. His purchase indicates that there is more to the world than technology, and other tech leaders ought to follow suit.
Develop Community Infrastructure
In Silicon Valley, tech industry leaders need to devote some of their wealth to schools, parks, bookstores, newspapers, and other small ventures. Rather than working toward automating entire communities, small business owners and tech companies need to join forces to sustain their workforce — analog and digital. Communities can only thrive when all their members can contribute.
Business Lessons We Learn From Past Companies
In the 1940s, George F. Johnson, CEO of Endicott-Johnson Shoes, was aware of this concept. As one of the world’s biggest shoemakers, Johnson went out of his way to build homes for his workers (which he would sell at cost), libraries, two hospitals, and a golf course. He also funded a minor league baseball team. When others questioned him on his generosity, Johnson reportedly said, “I’m out to make all I can of this concern, not take all I can out of it.”
Let’s Take Action
In the U.S., we reward efficiency and productivity. However, we need to acknowledge the complexity of our social fabric and bring small businesses back to the workforce. In Silicon Valley, tech leaders and small business owners ought to engage in this discussion.
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Editor’s Note: Financial numbers in the above article are taken from the following online Reference Articles and with verification for public business financial data published online.
Donald Trump is right about Silicon Valley By Kevin Maney December 27, 2016 Posted with permission from Newsweek