Small business, taking care of what we love…
We are all familiar with the principle of ‘use it or lose it’ when it comes to maintaining our physical strength or mental acuity. The principle also applies to other important things, such as small business. In the course of our lives, we build relationships with people and organisations that make us feel valued, special and appreciated.
We love going to that tiny little bakery where they always call us ‘darling’, and the hand-made croissants are just the right sort of buttery perfection. Or meeting a friend at our favourite coffee shop where the barista not only remembers our name but also puts a paw print on our small-half caff-skinny-mocha-latte and asks how our fur baby is doing after his ‘little operation’.
We are happy to pay a little more for the groomer that clips fluffy’s nails very gently, because they know we are anxious about it. Or for the bag of apples from the independent fruit shop that sells organic hummus in reusable tubs. We love that the corner store put a packet of toilet paper aside for us because they knew that Mum was coming to stay and we would need a four-pack of the good stuff. These relationships add joy to our lives and make us happy, and yet they are often the first things to go as soon as there is the slightest rumble in the economy and so, with the fires, floods and the current pestilence knocking us all off kilter, many small businesses are facing very tough times.
Think of it as ‘rescuing us’
We get it, we (the small business owners that love and need you) totally understand that we can never compete with big business when it comes to price alone. We just can’t. Most of the time we can’t even buy our stock for the price that the big players can sell it for, but we make up for it in our personalised care and love for what we do. Try asking the self-checkout machine at your local big chain supermarket if you should use plain or self-raising flour for your grandma’s scone recipe and see how much help you get.
If you want giant multinational prices, you get giant multinational service, and if you abandon us when things get tough, we may not be able to wait here until you get back. We have families and mortgages too and may have to shut down our businesses and get jobs stacking toilet paper or showing people how to use the self-checkout.
Spare us a thought…
So, spare us a thought as you tighten your belts and budgets and maybe cut down on your coffee and croissants rather than cutting them out completely and perhaps get Fluffy’s pawdicure done just a little less often. If you can’t get to your favourite restaurant or hairdresser because of quarantine or social distancing, find out if they have a delivery option or an online shop. Ask how you can continue to do business with them in some small way. It will help you keep the joy in your life and help us to survive to be here for you when things pick up again. And in the meantime, boost your favourite small businesses in other ways. Talk about them on social media, share their Facebook posts, recommend them to everybody that will listen and generally help them know they are loved, valued and appreciated.
In the spirit of walking the walk, over the coming days, I will be posting details of small businesses that belong to my clients, to Facebook. They are the sorts of people that will call an acupuncturist for their pets, so you know where their heads and hearts are at. Support them please, (so they can help support me 😉) and we can all get through these tough times together.