As Canada celebrates Small Business Week, I thought it fitting to write an ode to fellow small business owners.
Here's the thing, owning a small business isn't for the faint of heart! The ups and downs of small business has peaks and valleys that resemble a stock market chart from Black Monday. That's why, you can be sure that when someone forges on with their small business, it's because it's something they are truly passionate about. While most of us are in business to make money (including Gift Smack selling Canada gift boxes!), there has to be something else that motivates you to see your business through, especially in the start-up stages of business. This part - the passion, the motivation, the reason - is what I dearly love about fellow entrepreneurs and small businesses.
When I'm considering new vendors, I look at the quality or their products but what really endears me, is their story. After a brief perusal of a website, I find myself looking for the 'About Us' tab. Learning who is behind a business and what their why is, is really the most inspiring and telling thing about a business. The who and the why gives us a sense of who we're doing business with, which is important, since we aren't in a world where we meet face to face as much anymore. I'd say learning the stories behind brands, could be considered a hobby for me. I love learning about the innovative people behind a product but also the ups and downs of a business is inspiring to other people and businesses. I'm inspired by entrepreneurs who have persevered through challenges and I'm motivated by the success of others.
How can you support small business owners? The obvious answer is to shop or use their services to support them financially, but honestly there are so many other ways you can support the small businesses in your community. Referrals and recommendations are the heart of any business and your positive comments and word of mouth recommendations go a long way. Liking and sharing their social media posts also helps a small business advertise and possibly reach clients or customers who would like to engage their services. Consider collaborating with a small business during a fundraiser or other promotional event. Sometimes, positive feedback and kind words are inspiring, especially for those business owners that work solo or don't have the chance to engage with the public frequently, your words and encouragement could be the catalyst that keeps them moving forward.
Cheers to all the small business owner's out there! 2020 has certainly been a year to remember and as we all adapt to the rapidly change business environment, my sincerest wish is that we all rise, more resilient and successful than ever.