The Best Part About Being (or Starting) a Small Business Right Now
For starters, everyone wants what you’re selling – or making. Seriously, they’re searching every day for the ideas, goods and gifts you have. Take advantage of the demand.
It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Small businesses are ruling the world (and social media feeds).
It’s been incredible to see so many consumers jumping into the “shop small” parade. And guess what? The parade isn’t ending. In fact, it’s only just beginning. Every day is becoming “Small Business Saturday”. That’s why it’s the perfect time to take your brilliant ideas and talents and turn them into money-making ideas and talents – even if you just give your business a test drive on the weekends.
Whether you want to offer up your talent and skills, sell something you love to make, or resell someone else’s products, just keep these three things in mind…
1. Passion Sells! (This is More Up Your Alley Than You Think.)
People like the thought of their money going toward someone – or something crafted – with a lot of soul, passion and determination. They want to support shops and service providers that are putting people (or animals, the planet, etc.) first. And they root for business owners who put themselves out there, try to make the world a better place, and do what they do simply because they love it. No matter how unique, niche or quirky your product is, there are wild fans out there dying to have it. Hand-stitched face masks with everyone’s favorite Star Wars characters? Custom-made candles scented and designed to bring one’s favorite Italian city home? There are customers for both. And there are millions of people who are looking for someone to solve their biggest everyday problems – to care enough to even want to do so. Flameless fire pits, socks that keep rocks out of shoes, cupcake carriers that don’t require you to stick your fingers in the icing to get them out…if you have these things, you will have customers – probably for life. Especially if your products or services don’t break the bank. The point is your customers are everywhere and all they want is to hit the brakes on shopping from the big corporations once again and support you. Yes, you! So, show them what you’ve got. (It doesn’t even matter if you made it or if you can just get it to them faster or cheaper.)
2. You Have a Real Fighting Chance!
According to a survey conducted in the summer of 2020, over eight-in-10 of shoppers will voluntarily pay more if it means they can support small businesses. And 77% do so intentionally to support local businesses. You might even be able to persuade more people to shop small and shop local if you simply put your heart into it – and offer discounts when you can. (Of course, we highly recommend you take advantage of your vendors’ discount programs if you’re a reseller/dealer and do what you can to keep materials and shipping costs down so they aren’t passed along to the customer. But that’s a discussion for another day.)
3. Imagine the Impact You Could Make
If you’re on the brink of making your business (or side hustle) dreams come to life, try this exercise: close your eyes and imagine doing what you love. Drafting it. Crafting it. Simplifying it. (Even if it’s just to make some extra money.) Whatever you authentically enjoy making or doing, picture it as a business, a brand, a livelihood. It can be as creative or straightforward as you want. Picture that work being shared all over the country or even beyond. Imagine your masterpiece (in whatever form it takes) being a keepsake for another person and their family or friends for years to come. That means something. So does the ability for your customers to be able to get their favorite wellness shakes or their dog’s favorite food directly through you online versus having to leave the house. That’s a real impact you can make in someone’s life that puts a smile on their face, and one on yours too. Plus, we are very much living in a self-care driven service economy, where everything from cooking and cleaning to composting and sending birthday cards is being outsourced to someone else. You could be that someone else so that customer can have some time to feel like themselves once again.
If you’re saying, “Maybe I should outsource some of those things. I need some selfcare.” We get it.
It can be tough work to keep your own business up and running, especially if you’re still helping someone else keep theirs afloat. But with the widespread support we’re seeing for even the smallest of businesses right now (we’re talking to you, bakers, animal trainers, Poshmark shops and local market vendors), the time is right for you to take a chance. There is so much love waiting to be thrown your way, so why not take that leap and see where you land?
Who knows, you could appear on a few million TikTok “For You” pages or “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list. Wouldn’t that be the start of a great, beautiful adventure – and the perfect beginning to your brand’s (likely very long) story?
Want to learn more about what steps to take to make your business a reality or take it to the next level? Stay tuned for more tips from Zebra’s ZSB Team!