I’m a business owner. I’ve been quite successful over these last few years after a hell of a lot of very hard and very poor years.
From having a 20 year old Volvo and a beat up 15 year old van on the driveway we now have a brand new van with a private plate on it, and a rather nice powerful Jaguar estate.
I was recently criticised that “I’m charging too much” by someone. I then read articles in the papers about people who are in low paid jobs and complain about their wages.
The problem is, firstly, the government and benefits.
Benefits subsidise low wages. Nobody should be on less than the living wage; but by that token people who aren’t willing to work hard to better themselves shouldn’t be entitled to high wages.
But it’s a vicious cycle of low cost and benefits for many businesses. Often a business staffing structure is built around benefits and the government subsidising low wages and if the national minimum wage was to rise the business would fold; thus pushing more people into benefits and reducing the job pool.
The modern ethos is “want it, have it”. It’s a very entitled culture.
People who cannot afford the latest technology will get it however they can.
In my parents day families had “a car”. If they were lucky. Now all families want a car each.
Not many years ago a household had a phone, and perhaps a computer. Now we all have phones sitting in our pockets. We all own our own PC. We have tablets. We have technology everywhere.
Most of it unpaid for. Much of it often unaffordable.
There’s a culture called “Bright House Families”. It’s well documented within Social Care circles. They are families who rely heavily on benefits; and over 75% of their entire household income is used to settle high interest finance agreements on unnecessary products.
They get caught in a trap where a low paid job will often not pay enough to allow them to live and so they avoid working because they are better off not doing so.
Again, this is a problem of low wages and the benefits trap; but it’s also a self made problem of demand for unaffordable goods which is satisfied by lenders who should have more scruples.
The final problem which underpins this culture is that of jealousy. I’m a target of it.
I’ve always been in work (just one week unemployment in my entire life)
I’ve always had a strong work ethic and I’ve been brought up to accept what comes your way and aspire higher when you’re surviving.
I’ve accepted minimum wage jobs but whilst I was in that job I was constantly job hunting for something better – and I can tell you it feels good to do just one week in a low paid job and then tell your boss you won’t be in tomorrow because you’ve found a better job.
The problem I’ve experienced is jealousy.
I did NEBS management as part of one of my jobs which after basic training of one week added another week on whilst my fellow inductees left to join the floor.
They found out I was going to be carrying on training and they actually left me feeling shunned and isolated. None of them would sit with me in the canteen.
This continues to this day. I’m often given the cold shoulder because as a result of my constant study and my hard work both with my business and with my music I’m often seen to be doing well.
Our neighbours have slowly fallen out with us over petty things, and I know it’s because from having a beat up old Volvo and a 16 year old van on the drive we new have a brand new van and a rather powerful Jaguar.
Indeed, someone I know made a horrible comment about me on Facebook about a day after he first saw me in the Jag.
I do understand why some people, even though they are very happy with the place they live, end up moving. The caste system is alive and well in people’s minds.
So that’s my take on business. I’m part of the system, sadly, and with hard work and training I will soon be an employer. I will try and keep my wages reasonable to avoid staff churn, but I’ll also be mindful that an unprofitable business isn’t a business for long.