On Monday many of us celebrated Labor Day — a day away from our offices to reflect upon the many contributions we as employers and employees make to our businesses, communities, industries, and country.
In a great article written by entrepreneur Carolyn Higgins, we are reminded to acknowledge the changes that have taken place in our labor force and country since the Great Recession.
As I read her piece, I could not help but think about the thousands of entrepreneurs and hundreds of thousands of staff members within the U.S. debt collection industry who have endured sweeping economic, regulatory, and market segment changes for nearly a decade. They band together in an industry that returns hundreds of millions of dollars to countless small, mid-sized, and Fortune 500 companies, as well as federal and state-level government agencies and municipalities across America.
In her article, Ms. Higgins points to entrepreneurs as dedicated, hardworking individuals who “ventured out on their own and created their own destiny. They said ‘screw the forty-hour work week, I’d rather work SIXTY hours and be independent!’” I often refer to the debt collection industry as one of the most entrepreneurial-spirited industries throughout business. According to the Small Business Administration, in 2014 there were 28.8 million small businesses – defined as a business with fewer than 500 employees – accounting for 99.7% of all U.S. businesses!
Most collection companies fit this description; they are privately owned by one or more individuals who broke away from an established operation to start their own business. Many of these individuals were able to entice clients to use their services as they funded their own start-ups, hired staff, rented space, and invested in infrastructure.
I hope owners, executives, and employees within the debt collection industry were able to find time this weekend to reflect upon their accomplishments. I also hope that the entrepreneurial spirit never leaves this vital segment of our economy.