Plan for Zero: Small biz owners sacrifice their own pay

These two bits from a 2012 Citibank small business survey really stood out as Rule 1: Plan for Zero moments. Both business owners and employees have gone without or delayed pay, to help the business survive.

Almost one quarter of business owners have gone a year or more without pay to keep their business alive. 

“In addition to using their own money to help their business survive (69 percent), the majority of small-business owners (54 percent) say they have gone without a paycheck. Looking back over the history of their businesses, almost one-quarter (23 percent) have gone without pay for one year or more.”

“Demonstrating true commitment, employees showed thanks by their own investment in the success of the company: more than one-third (38 percent) of owners say their employees worked additional hours without pay; another 18 percent credit their employees with voluntarily missed or delayed paychecks.”

If you don’t seriously plan for zero in your business, you’re putting the business at risk.

Photo: pizza place owner happy at work in downtown Austin, Texas. Photo by Becky McCray.