Wednesday, February 25, 2009

business plans

It can be hard to be a small business owner. You have to wear many hats, and be able to change the way you do things at a moments notice. You have to sacrifice family time, and holidays, and always be on call, even on vacation.

But there are many benefits as well, not the least of which is being in charge of your own destiny.

And working from home in your pajamas.

I come from a long line of small business owners-my grandfather ran his own machine shop on the shores of the Mississippi River in Bemidji, and my dad owns and operates his own machine shop in Bemidji as well. My brother runs his own home-building operation, and my sister has a photography business in her 'spare time'. Mike's brother is running his own business too, so we have lots of people to commiserate with.

These are interesting times. No crystal ball can predict what the next couple of years will bring, but right now it is all about focusing on the basics, making smart spending decisions, and making sure we give our customers the best experience their money can buy, while keeping our employees motivated and happy.

Advertising is incredibly expensive. You want to get the word out, but at the same time, realize that is money you may need to spend on rent and payroll instead. So anytime someone does a story that talks about your business, it is all a bonus.

After 9/11, things were tough, and we did what we could to hang on. In December of 2002, KARE 11 did a story on us, and the publicity literally saved us-giving us our best holiday selling season up to that point.

As with most retailers, our sales have been down from last year. But last night, WCCO did a story on us, that just may give us a sales boost during this tough time.

Thanks Frank!

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