I’ve learned a lot since I started my own business – The biggest lesson being that there is definitely a finite amount of time, space and money that tasks need to be accomplished with, and it’s never felt more acutely than when you’re in charge and there’s just one of you.
While on the one hand, it’s made me proud of what I can accomplish given a broad and open-ended objective (stay in business), it has also made me aware of what a difference one person can make. One extra customer coming to my market table, one phone call from an encouraging friend, one word of praise from a fan, one inspirational quote on twitter – these can mean the difference between staying in business and staying motivated, or deciding that it’s not worth the effort. The first few years are especially crucial in getting an infant idea to stand on its own legs, and even after that, there is constant competition in every industry from giants that have more marketing money, staff and technology at their disposal.
This post is a friendly reminder that you, as a consumer, are in a very powerful position, and it makes a huge difference in your neighborhood, city and country by supporting small and/or locally-owned businesses. It might take the same amount of effort for you to stop in at a local cafe rather than a chain, or to swing by a local hardware store on the way home instead of a trip to a super center on the weekend, so it might not seem like that big of a deal to you. Believe me, it makes a difference. And for those of you who make the effort to walk several more blocks, or pay 10% more for your item offered with a sincere smile: keep on doing what you’re doing. Shop small. Shop local.