Thank You Small Business Owners
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / bolsunova While I’m writing this on the eve of Small Business Week, the first full week of May, saying thanks to small business owners is important year round. Small business owners are a crucial part of our economy. According to a recent Forbes report over 120 million people are employed by small businesses. Small businesses create around 70% of the jobs each year in the U.S. according to a report released by the Small Business Administration. If you add in solopreneurs and the growing freelancing movement, the numbers are even larger. But not everyone is cut out to be a small business owner. As we offer our thanks to these special folks, I also want to point out the kind of fortitude it takes to be a success. These exceptional individuals inspire us at the same time they are building our economy. Thank you small business owners for: Knowing That Following Your Dream is Priceless Following your dream is priceless but also expensive. Some small business owners mortgage their homes to follow their dreams. Kudos for having the fortitude to make it a reality, to go for it even when it seems impossible. Working 80 Hours to Avoid Working 40 for Someone Else Owning a small business often means working around the clock. Even when your business is closed, you’re working on ways to improve it, market it, and serve your customers better. You know hard work is the only way to be successful but when it’s your passion and livelihood you don’t question work/life balance because you’re working to make your life better. Defying the Odds and Rebelling Against Convention The easier route is to work for someone else, to punch a clock and get a pay check, even when you go on vacation. But you didn’t take the easy way out and you’ve traded in today’s vacations for a future of them. Thank you for not listening to the laughs and the NOs you heard along the way. Setting an Example and Carrying on a Tradition Small business owners are often described as the backbone of our economy but they’re also the foundation. When driving down Main Street in a town where most of the windows are soaped and the storefronts are empty, that tells a dismal story of the town to residents and visitors. Small business owners, you keep the community’s dreams alive, as well as your own. You give us hope that our towns will continue to thrive. Having the Courage to Try Something New Small businesses are often able to be more agile than larger business who have to run everything through “corporate.” You wear many hats and are tasked with knowing a little about every aspect of your business. If you weren’t versed in marketing or sales before opening your business, you will be. If you knew nothing about social media, you’ll learn. Small businesses must always be learning to thrive. Stagnation is equal to starvation in a small business. Thank you for going outside of your comfort zone to experiment with things unknown. Small business owners, know that your efforts do not go unnoticed. We realize you work hard so you and your family can have better lives, but you also keep the dreams of future business owners burning bright, you maintain a quality of life for our communities just by your presence, and you set an example for our children. Let’s support one another in attaining our dreams and make a purchase from a small business, not only this week, but throughout the year. Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks. She’s a bookish writer on a quest to bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.