I've been a small business owner for over 15 months now, I'm still just as excited about my boutique as that first day of opening. It hasn't been easy at all but despite the challenges I still get super excited when I walk in my door.
3 Things I discovered as a small business owner.
One. I discovered that sweat equity is a real thing. I was used to working hard, but boy does this work you harder!
Two. I discovered that what you say you will do, doesn't always pan out to what actually happens. That worse case scenarios are real and you better be ready for them.
Three. I also discovered that I've come to appreciate my customers so much because I too once was like them looking for something special.
This is why shopping local means so much more to me now.
My small boutique business doesn’t have a big marketing budget so I can't afford the big campaigns. My organic campaigns happen in social media, I have to construct my own taglines and devise catchy promos and execute them without any help. However my local small shoppers get it! They get the message and appreciate my effort. Thank you!
In my small business I can’t hire consultants to help me analyze local demographics and target prospective customers. I analyze my own data and that happens to be mostly anecdotal and from our point of sales system. Which by the way works quite well...for now. Those “shop-smallers” know this and in return for my boutique service they refer me! Thank you!
We support our creative endeavors with that first local customer base that sees our vision and supports it because they know that what we are trying to do is different and special. My locals also know that it’s not easy and that taking a leap to do something different takes guts, they know that eccentric concepts take a fan following, so for that thank you!
Our business endeavors are not always easily articulated. I mean how do you explain to someone that you see your boutique as a learning and thinking center? A place for gatherings of the intellectual kind, a place that offers classes you would normally take in a community college.
I often wonder if I properly convey the vision that my place transcends what a boutique should be?
My local shoppers see it! My small shoppers get it!
Now I just need everyone else to get it too!
Alicia Araujo-Elatassi is the proud owner of Thinking Girls Boutique & Studio, a global contemporary boutique in West Houston. She brings the world home with one of a kind artisan items and promotes learning with classes and books!