Small Biz is the Backbone of our Economy

Shopping locally is the thing to do.

Shopping locally will make a difference

I recently read that small business employs a whopping 97% of all employees.  I’m not quite sure how they came up with this number, and you know what everyone says about statistics…that 48.7% of all of them are made up on the spot.

Yes, I made that one up.

The real fact, however, is that small biz is what this country was built on, long before the industrial revolution.

Today, it is what I look for when I shop.  I support CSA, community supported agriculture.  I actively seek out “mom and pop” shops for coffee, lunch, and other shopping endeavors.

Yes, I shop on the internet, and I do shop at the large chain stores from time to time.  If I knew where to get these things without going on the internet or going to a Kohl’s or Target, then I would do so. I also recognize that sometimes you can’t get around finding what you need at a larger store.

What I’d really like to do, however, is to raise everyone’s awareness about shopping locally.

When you shop at a large department store approximately 17 cents of every dollar stays in your community (usually in the form of taxes). When you shop at a locally owned small biz, between 48 and 78 cents stays in the community.

That’s a HUGE difference.

A grass roots movement is afoot around the country to raise the awareness of people to this fact.  The economic forecast is pretty grim.  However, if we try to spend more of our money locally, we might just turn things around.

Let’s do our part.  Shop locally. Encourage others to do the same.

If we can even persuade people to spend $50 to $100 locally this holiday season rather than at a large chain store or the internet, we will be making a significant change in our communities.  Let me know what you’re doing to make a difference.

I welcome any and all comments.

What Makes for a Good Entrepreneur?

There are a lot of “beliefs” about what makes for a good entrepreneur. Here’s a great article talking about the 5 Myths About Entrepreneurs that should either support or dispel most of them.

Are you an entrepreneur?  Or are you a victim of circumstance? Did you choose the biz you’re in or did it somehow choose you?

Some might say that doesn’t matter, but I think deep down, everyone knows that it does matter.  Some of us find ourselves running a business that we somehow inherited, and we’re not really even sure we like it.

The problem is, if you don’t like it, your lack of passion and interest can impact how your clients and customers see you and your business.  So you’re going to have to ask yourself a really hard question: “Do I stay in this business or not?”

If you decide to stay in the business, then you somehow have to figure out how to fall in love with it and your clients and customers. Is there a micro-niche that you could serve that would be more interesting to you than those you currently serve?

Could you put a slightly different spin on the business, making it uniquely your own? Can you educate yourself about your business, products, and clientele so that you become the expert they’re looking for?  Once people begin to come to you as the expert, helping them to solve their problems, you might change how you view yourself and your business.

If, however, you answered, “No!” to the above question…the why are you still in business?  You really should either sell the business, or get someone else to run or manage it for you, because your lack of interest and desire to run it will eventually drive it into a slow death spiral.  Without that spark of entrepreneurial enthusiasm, innovative thinking, and deep interest, the business is lifeless.  Your clients and customers know that, too.

This isn’t something you need to decide in the time it takes to read this article. But you do need to do some heavy thinking. Seek guidance from someone who is not financially or emotionally involved in the business.  A business coach is a good place to start to see if you are in the right place, or if you need to make some big changes in your life.

Scary thought, but in the long run, life’s too short to do something you hate for the rest of your life.