Have You Ever Run A Business?

You know as a an advocate for raising the minimum wage I get asked that a lot.

Sometimes its just some low info knucklehead repeating a phrase from Hannity and he thinks he sounds smart. He doesn’t sound smart. Sometimes its people who are sincere in their question, but their question is sometimes based on a faulty premise – that a left winger couldn’t possibly know anything about business – and correspondingly that right wingers must be naturally talented at the biz game.

Let me tell you that I have run a business. I have run a department in a big business for over 10 years, and each year I was required to show a profit or get fired. I had 50 employees. My payroll was almost $2.000,000 a year. I did all the hiring, firing, promotion, sales, marketing for my department without an assistant.

I can tell you more and I will. But I will also ask you, have YOU ever run a business? Come back soon.

I ran a department in a casino in Reno for years.   My department  was a gaming department, front line revenue generator.  In the 10 years with the company every other department manger changed at least once, (14 departments.)  The competitive environment was brutal, with 20  or more casinos vying for a limited customer pool.  I always had the highest paid employees.  Although the majority of my department jobs were entry level minimum wage jobs, I paid over minimum to start and I paid over market wages for good employees.  I had the fastest growing department of its type in the state for several years.

The secret to success in entertainment, hospitality, food, gaming, and retail  etc. etc. is in the employees!   There is very little difference between what you can offer the customer in goods and what your competitor can offer.  The difference will be in the level of service you can provide to your customers and that costs a little money.   Its worth it.   Yes I had to compete against the bottom feeders.  I did not get all of the low end trade, but I made up for it with a higher per average sale figure.   My per average sales were twice the industry standard in the market.  Why?  Because I found superstar sales people and I could hire them by paying 1 dollar over the minimum wage they were making working for a bottom feeder.

If you are running a clothing store, especially one marketing to teens, you are going to hire teens.   You can hire any teen for $8.00 an hour but you can also hire a couple of superstar teen salespeople for 11 dollars an hour and double your sales.  You are an idiot if you don’t see this.  Sorry.

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