Thursday, September 17, 2015

If only.........., behind the scenes as a small business owner

This has been on my mind for a long time, just not really sure how to express it.  I am a small business owner, I have a small, local artisan boutique and I am a goldsmith.  My hope is that you take what I am about to express in a positive, constructive manner and move forward with it.

Often, especially on social media, I see comments regarding small businesses in the sense of if only they had different hours, if only they offered different items, if only they had a better facility, etc......

Most, if not all, small, local, independent business owners are NOT the same as large corporate businesses like the WalMarts of the world, who can take a loss in one store to support another.  There is no one who would like to make their customers happier with more open hours, more options, more benefits, etc....  than your local store owners.  I can guarantee you that each and every store, restaurant, service business has experimented with all the above, changing hours, changing menus, changing services, and what they have at present is what is most cost effective for them.

I say this because as a sole proprietor, you do everything.  You have to run your business, order your merchandise, clean your shop, make your products, pay your taxes, do your books, market your business, offer customer service, etc..... and your costs usually cover your expenses if you are lucky but rarely cover labor costs, most small business owners work for free at least at some point of their business.

I say all this to express the following, the more you can support and shop your local small business when they are open, they would have more income, that would allow them to hire out some of the services, such as accounting, thus employing others, and using their freed up time to expand their hours, or hire an employee to work and expand hours or provide more options in menus or services.  It is a balancing act that depends on all aspects working to be able to function effectively.

I have seen so many comments on social media that can negatively affect a local business to the point of actually closing them down.

A word of advice I received once from a very wise man said, "Before you act, speak, complain, ask yourself, what is the end result I want? because sometimes it is worth the fight, comment, etc, and sometimes it is not".

In the end, my request is that you support your local businesses when you can, they provide character, life, and interest to your communities.  Before you make a negative comment, ask yourself is it warranted and remember that your comment may be the one to close their doors, and is that what you want?

We all want to improve, grow and provide more for the community, so please, let us know how to do that in a positive, constructive way not in a negative, destructive style.  And with that, thanks for listening to a small, local business owner, I appreciate my customers more than you will ever know.