The Australian Small Business Blog

Friday, September 12, 2008

The ABC Sneers at Small Business

As the self appointed mouth piece of state enterprise (is that an oxymoron?), it is well known that the ABC deeply dislikes big business. Now it is showing what it thinks about small business in their new program “Very Small Business”.

This is a missed opportunity. The program could have shown how the little guy puts one over the bigger guy with clever use of limited resources and fast decision making that just by shear nerve gets them across the finishing line to beat a larger competitor.

I remember a bank ad about a small business (probably husband and wife) and the husband is in a small pokey, drab office in very casual attire talking to some exec in a city office tower trying to convince them to use his services. The exec says he will round up his board for a teleconference in 5 minutes. Clearly the small business guy is panicked. He calls out to his wife that they are to have a video conference. She rushes in with a business shirt and tie. We see he is just wearing a pair of shorts as he is changing. He clears the desk contents onto the floor, and he pulls down the blind behind it and there is a painted image of Sydney Harbour on it. The call comes in and he looks very professional and cool after the frantic activity in the seconds before. Then you see his wife sidle round the back, avoiding the view of the web camera, to retrieve an old pizza box.

That’s the sort of fun that happens in small business.

In Very Small Business, the owner is a sleaze and basically dishonest. The writers have come up with an unlikely hero, a depressed writer who works for this small business. Give us all a break!

Small business owners have lots of great stories on how they succeeded against the odds with some highly inventive strategies. If you are not honest, you don’t last long as customers won’t deal with you and you get a bad reputation, which is the fastest way to go out of business. Small Business Owners have to think fast, work hard, and have a great sense of humour to out manoeuvre their larger competitors

With small business employing 50% of the private sector employees and responsible for 70% of the employment growth in recent years, you would have thought this is something that the ABC would want to celebrate rather than just sneer at.

But I forgot, it is their ABC.

Dr Greg Chapman

Over to You. What do You Think? Post Your Comments Below.

Dr Greg Chapman is the Director of Empower Business Solutions and The Australian Business Coaching Club and is Australia's Leading Advisor on Emerging Businesses and provides Coaching and Consulting advice to Australian Small Business Owners in Marketing & Business Strategies Planning & Systems. He is also the author of The Five Pillars of Guaranteed Business Success.

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Anonymous said...


Some small business owners are sleazes =/= all small business owners are sleazes.

If what you're saying is anywhere close to reality, are we to believe that the ABC hates librarians because they had a show where a head librarian is neurotic and racist?

Or maybe dishonesty, sorry, "highly inventive strategies" are only OK when it's putting one over the "bigger guy"? Please.

Anonymous said...

It's just a parody. I can't see how a TV show about a highly imaginative, innovative fast-growth business owner could be that funny and entertaining.

Dr Greg Chapman said...

I talk to hundreds of business ownwers every year, and there are some great stories, which could make you laugh, or make you cry or both. The point is, rather than celebrate something that is truly great in this country, the ABC prefers to use our taxes to sneer. This has become a habit- public good, private bad.

Anonymous said...

Great to see there are Aussie talking about this show, for sure it not a great educational tool to share with school students but just to have a laughter at it is great it beats Big Brother and most of those other reality shows hands down!Great post Greg l was googling about a very small business you cam up on first page so it done something for personal branding if nothing else ever came from this show.


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