Big Tips on Small Bizness Posted on 15 May 15:42

SmallBizWeek

Have you noticed that “we” like to reserve days for sometimes-random ideations? Thanks in part to social media, I’ve grown acutely aware of days, and weeks, and months slated for commemoration. Next month is National Accordion Awareness month, oh and Turkey Lovers month. There exists a National Beheading day, along with Fruitcake Toss day. Curiosity kidnapped me when I discovered National Bubba day—googled it. 24 designated hours to honor anyone with the name Bubba. (Don’t think I won’t ruminate about Bubba Gump repeatedly on June 2nd.) And I’m not gonna lie . . . there are some people who treat Blame Someone Else Day like it’s every day. (I’m starting to sound cynical.) But some of our awareness days and weeks are deeply important to me. Last week was National Teacher Week. I don’t think we can honor teachers too much—many of them are bonafide heroes. This week is National Small Business week. Admit there’s something enchanting about having an idea, big or small, and turning it into a business—turning it into a reality.

So, in honor of both starry-eyed hopefuls and successful entrepreneurs, we’re celebrating National Small Business week. Here are a few tips from three bright and innovative small business owners.
Let’s start with moccasin maker extraordinaire, Susan Peterson of Freshly Picked. Susan is a pretty picture of perseverance. Initially, she funded her debt-free business by “banging glass” outta windows from her brother’s business to recycle and sell the aluminum frames. Will bang glass to create wildly successful baby moc business! Susan is an optimist. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to remember that failure is a fine teacher. In fact, she’s in Edison’s camp: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that don’t work.” Susan admits that some of the biggest lessons she’s learned about being an entrepreneur have come via mistakes. After all, mistakes are just information.

Like Susan, gifted Sarah Jane Wright (of Sarah Jane Studios) has important advice entrepreneurs would do well to implement: Be Authentic. Remain true to yourself. She expounds, “As a small business, you aren’t trying to meet the needs of everyone on the planet—meet the needs of those that care about what you do. Know who those people are, and brand yourself well. Let that branding permeate through your content, your photography, in your packaging, in your website, in your products, and in everything else that shares the message of your business.” Of course, Sarah Jane knows what she’s talking about. What began as a side job to get her husband through graduate school evolved into a distinctive lifestyle brand that has produced art prints, paper goods, fabric, craft and hobby products, along with books for children. Props to you Sarah Jane!

Digital scrapbooker Chari Pack founded Persnickety Prints when she could not find a quality, archival 12x12 print at an affordable price. She helped numerous organizations increase their online presence and revenue through her creative services. Why not venture out on her artistic own? Chari has been successfully navigating her own business since she resolved to make affordable prints. One of her business commandments is the customer is king! She’s sensitive to the fact that her customers are entrusting her with their valuables: their memories. Chari believes in providing high quality prints at lower, affordable prices by nixing advertising costs and allowing customers to publicize and promote Persnickety Prints for her—so far, they’ve done a grade A work! (That doesn’t feel persnickety in the least, does it?)

Thanks ladies, for sharing sage advice to promote National Small Business Week. Thank you also for sharing your gifts with us—for providing us with swag for our giveaway. So kind and generous . . . we’re blessed by each of you. Here’s hoping success follows you wherever you go; we’re sending that same wish to all of you owners of small businesses.