I’m not gonna lie – I’ve been struggling lately with a bit of jealousy. Not your normal, run of the mill jealousy over someone else being prettier, thinner, better than me…no.
I’m jealous of other businesses. I follow them on Instagram and Facebook. I’m constantly researching the market and following the trends all over the world. And part of that is finding other businesses, with a similar business model.
I’m fascinated with their marketing, their websites, their posting of what look like professional pics, and I find myself looking into their launch, their longevity, and what has sustained them.
Make no mistake, my business is thriving – it’s the best its ever been. But I literally cannot stop myself from comparing my business to others.
There’s one business in particular I’ve been following for a while. A woman with three kids, started her business in 2017 and just announced on Instagram, she’s opening a second location. She wrote about starting a few years ago, with limited hours, and never believing it could grow so fast. How she’ll have to give up some control, to let someone else run the 2nd location. The hours are now 7 days a week, and she’s hiring staff for both locations.
It got me thinking…Hey, I have three kids too. I too started with limited hours. My sales have literally doubled year over year since 2017. So it begs the question, “What am I doing wrong?” I don’t have keys to a 2nd location. I can barely afford the location I have now. How is she doing it? How? I N E E D to know!
So I asked her. She said it’s all about knowing your customer base, increasing your customer base, and being willing to let go of control in order to grow. I thanked her for the advice, and sat for a while – thinking about what she’d said.
I realized – I don’t want to give up control. I don’t want to hire a staff and have someone else be the face of my business at a 2nd location. The beauty of my business is in the relationships I have with my customers. Knowing what they want, and thinking about them when I’m ordering new inventory. Its bringing in home-baked goods on a Saturday, and spending the day catching up with my customers.
It’s hosting fundraisers for a customer diagnosed with breast cancer, or another one, who’s baby girl has an incurable disease. It’s getting to know them, each and every one of them. It’s giving them a little discount at check out, just because. It’s handing out flowers on Mother’s Day or candy roses on Valentine’s day.
It’s all of those little things that cannot be duplicated.
I’m thankful for that feeling of jealousy. It keeps me on my toes, keeps me striving to provide top notch customer service, on-trend fashions at an affordable price, home decor & gift items that simply cannot be found anywhere else.
And me: the owner of a small business, just happy to serve them.