It is true - running a successful business is a sole responsibility of the owner. You need to be skilled, well-funded, fluent in social media… If not, you are running an “outdated business model”, stuck in the Stone Age.
At least that’s what the “experts” say.
Really? I think we need more of the outdated business model. Where people know customers by name, answer the phone, care. I love to visit small towns where it still happens. I talk to shopkeepers, admire their stores. 63% of new jobs are created from small businesses. As you well know, not that many prosper.
I don't point fingers at why. I can see a lot of good changes. The recent recession reminded us to live with little. We consider each purchase carefully and ask questions. Where is it made and how? The cost question – always important. We buy more online, we look for good price, free shipping. It’s prudent.
But there is more to it. There is no small business that can compete with giants. One of them born in Seattle an hour away from us, Amazon, is seen by many as the most expedient, economical virtual mecca. My own son in college is a dedicated Amazon lover and dreams to work in their IT department (picture below with his brother and Dad, few... years ago). I don’t admire Amazon that much. It’s not the size, not the jealousy of the deep funding sustaining them for 20 years of loses, not even the tax dodging. It’s the squashing of small publishers. It’s the unhuman summer heat in warehouses resolved by ambulance presence outside to rush the workers who fainted in that heat. Amazon has never stepped up as a big supporter of its beautiful home town. As a business we resist the temptation of listing our products there and we hope to stay that way.
Our suppliers of quality organic items often sell on Amazon and some decided to not to service small retailers any more. Business decisions are not easy.
Natural Clothing Co. is working hard and fast on our own line of undergarments. We feel we have learned from you – the need for organic cotton, preferably without spandex, without harsh dyes and chemicals. We hope to break the Catch-22 cycle - needing larger demand with dwindling supplies and U.S. manufacturing disappearing. Herculean task.
It is not a guilt trip -- as consumers we do have all the power. Give a small guy a chance first ahead of large chain. If they can’t help -- go where you can get help. If you see a good place, share it with others, 85% of small businesses grow through word of mouth.
Supporting small is not just a good will. It is what the communities are built on and always will. It’s in all of our interest to consider who and what we support so the hard earned dollar is spent well.