Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thank you for the response to my last post

WOW, I didn't realize how many people really read my ramblings and rants. The comments were amazing and I only published a few. The support is equally as outstanding.

To those who took the time to leave a comment please know I am behind you rooting and pushing you all the way to success.

My biggest downfall was going into debt with bank loans, who would have thought those folks would have wanted their money back.... the fact that the bank would not restructure the loan was a bit unacceptable to me to put it mildly. Especially considering the fact that the bank CEO was in on meetings with our Prez discussing how to "help" small businesses. Downfall #2.... high rent in a very old drafty house which meant high utility bills. Despite what the SBA says in their mission statement and the reams of paperwork I had to complete in regards to working with "my" technical advisor... my TA was never available to help me along the way and help me navigate and negotiate in some of these areas.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What Community Do You Support?

I am watching my dream, my antique shop, die on the vine. I have come to a place of acceptance with it. I know that I have not done anything wrong. My business is well managed, we advertise as much as financially possible, we provide above excellent customer service, our books are in order, we do not pay ourselves... we work to pay the bills. We have fought the good fight but despite all of this people don't take the time to stop in and see the many wonderful, affordable items we have for sale.

The problem is the community mindset; "walmart charges less for a better quality item, they will make my life wonderful and worth living again." Of course the big box stores can afford TV commercials to brainwash the public that they have their best interest at heart, we are all in this together b***s***. They don't tell you how much of the money you spend in their big box stores goes off into another community probably in another state, they don't tell you that your hard earned money will give their CEO another million dollar raise, they don't tell you that they are getting tax subsidies in your community (they don't pay taxes on their property) and will move on to another area when it comes time for them to start paying their taxes.

My little shop can't afford television ads to let the community know that we, the owner's are struggling just like they are and will do anything in our power to provide them with a high quality item on whatever terms they can afford. When we make a purchase on inventory we buy from other American small businesses and try to buy from local businesses when possible. Several of my wholesaler's are in Johnson County.

I won't get into how my city, Lenexa, Kansas has one set of signage rules for businesses in my area and another set of rules for the rest of the city which boils down to I cannot have a sign on my shop that can be seen from the street. Or the fact that they have allowed the Lenexa Parks and Rec. to raise the facility rental rates at the community center which makes it impossible for the antique show promoter to have his antique show across the tracks from my shop (this show has been held for over 20 yrs.), I am sure it will also impact in a very negative way the other smaller shows that are held there year round which bring business into my shop. I think the city has cut its own balls off in spite of itself, they don't see the revenue that these shows bring into the community... but that is not the point of this post. We all know how I feel about this stinking city.

What can YOU do? Have you asked yourself what YOU can do about the current state of the economy? YOU are helpless, YOU can play a major role in the recovery of YOUR community. You might even save a small independent business or two while you're at it.
Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy. . . . . .
(1) Pick 3 independently owned local businesses to actively support through purchases. Those transactions are what keep small business IN business, after all;
(2) If half the employed U.S. population spent just $50 each month with independently owned local businesses, more than $42.6 billion would be generated annually. Imagine what would be possible if 3/4 of the population did that;
(3) For every $100 spent in independently owned local businesses, $68 returns to the local economy, as opposed to only $43 from purchases made in chains, big boxes, and franchises. Purchases made online bring nothing home. . . . . .

The 3/50 Project is all about positive momentum, building consumer loyalty to independent, locally owned businesses through plain talk and voiced appreciation while simultaneously building their local economies. . . .
YOU can make a community-changing decision the next time you pop out to do a little shopping. Drive or walk right past the big box stores and seek out a locally owned small business. You might be very surprised at the prices you find as well as the quality of wares they have for sale.
In the end we will all benefit.