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I understand a business-large, medium, or small-has lots of expenses. I understand the particulars of these expenses: workmen's comp, health insurance, payroll, and unemployment benefits; these items can make it impossible for many businesses to coax profits enough to ever succeed.

I understand dedication to any size business, especially regarding time and energy from the person or persons who are at the helm, must be immense-if that business has even the scantest chance of prospering.

I understand a businessowner may have spent tens of thousands of dollars to learn rules that suggest margins one should set in order for the business to survive.

I understand relationships with vendors can be tenuous, which could affect the cost of their product to be steeper than it should be.

I understand that business operating space rental contracts aren't always fail-safe and they aren't always entered into with a forthright conscious by the lessee.

I understand that the costs of heating, electric, telephone, marketing, etc., perpetually slide upward.

I understand taxes. I understand taxes can break your spirit.

I understand business. For six years I studied business under the late William J. Doyle, a successful New Yorker who owned William Doyle Galleries on 87th Street between Lexington and Third avenues in Manhattan-the business hub of the world.

I was Bill Doyle's assistant, his right hand man, his confidant; I was driver, student and bodyguard. I learned from Bill, a man who-by his own blood sweat and tears, natural instincts, and love of people-established an internationally recognized auction house. To this day, Doyel's business competes successfully for goods and estates against giant firms including Sotheby's and Christies.

We should understand how Bill conducted business in a manner to ensure his personal success, while at the same time, making employees and clients happy.

I understand there are local restaurants that deal with every nook and cranny of business just like every other business deals with-but there's this local restaurant I know that serves a "twofer" fish meal for $12, and a "twofer" filet meal for $20. I understand this restaurant's two-dinner deal is priced to be unusually-well, relatively-fair. I understand that this business feeds clients and sends its clients home happy and well fed. I wish this business the best.

I understand business. I understand business is difficult.

This summer-on your travels to events here and there and large and small-when you are thirsty and decide to purchase a bottle of water, you'll find you'll most often be charged $2.50 or more. That, I don't understand.

Charging $2.50 or more for a single bottle of water will not make clients happy. I don't believe we've learned much from this so-called economic slowdown. Many businesses still charge too much and many customers still pay too much.

Rusty DeWees can be reached at rustyd@pshift.com.

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