I appreciate the customers who shop with us, and tell us they love to support small businesses like ours. We are a small business. We operate that way. I have always focused on being creative, doing what I felt was right in my heart, and trying to uplift our customers (and employees). Our downtown in Traverse City is a desireble downtown because many/most of the businesses, restaurants, etc. are locally based, owned, and run, and that gives us a strong, unique, independent feel. Two interesting points that come to my mind;
1) I have recently hired a business advisor. I feel I am strong on independent thinking and being creative in my approach, but I am not strong on numbers and business goals. In fact, my advisor recently asked me my business goals for the coming year, the sales and profit numbers I want to aim for. I told him the truth; I just cannot work with goals of sales or numbers. To me it takes the organic fun and uniqueness of my business completely away. I don't like the feel of sales goals, I like the goal of growing our creativity, customer experience, and day to day fun of what we do.
2) about 5 years ago we had a store in Suttons Bay. One day a small group came in, and asked if we took Apple Pay (relatively new at the time), as they had were on a boat trip and no one had brought their wallet. They were from Chicago, and were used to Apple Pay (from your Iphone) being common. I told them they didn't, but that they were welcome to pick out the shirts they wanted and send me a check when they got home. A week or two later, they called me. I had basically forgotten about them, as that is what I do =:l. This is great; they went across the street the day they were in the store to eat at a restaurant (VI Grill) and they didn't take Apple Pay either. The young man who was seating them told them to go ahead and eat, he would pay for their meal, and they could send him payment when they got back to Chicago!! The lady who was calling me to settle up was blown away that anyplace in the world still operated that way. She said ehe felt like she was in the twilight zone... and loved it!!
I love the FEEL of small business