How to Better Respect Small Business
I had two recent experiences that made me think differently about respecting small businesses. And if you are in the business of marketing, selling, servicing or supporting small business that’s an important thing.
The first was while reading some research. The research said that Small business owners overwhelmingly see themselves as unique and define themselves additionally by their unique contributions to society.
And I thought why do we so rarely acknowledge and respect small business owners for how they respect themselves?
Sure we respect them by acknowledging their value as a customer, their membership in an industry, their work ethic, their entrepreneurship, their common pain points, their challenges, their contributions to job creation as a whole and blah blah blah…..but don’t you see it?
There is little unique about that to the Small Business owner, instead it’s a wide swath acknowledgement of them as a group which exactly not how they see themselves individually. And there is nothing respecting their unique contributions to society.
Last week I tagged along with my wife to a local business association gathering at a new restaurant that recently opened in town. There had to be near 40 local businesses represented sipping on wine and appetizers.
This was not how I remember these meetings way back when I used to attend in another life. This meeting was about toasting to the “Alan’s business that is driving the benefit tomorrow night for the family who lost their home in the fire last week.” It was about the “needed sponsors for the summer band series”. It was about how proud the association was for being the “sole group responsible for installing a landmark historic clock in the center of town”. So little of the time was promoting their business and when they did – 80% of them shared how “different” they were than any another accountant, or restaurant, or mortgage broker, or Mary Kay representative they knew.
So why do I (and I suspect, we) forget so often what our eyes see, our ears hear and our research tells us about acknowledging and respecting a small business?
What if we were to ask more often “What are you most proud of”, “What defines you” or “What contribution as an Small Business owner inspires you?” when we talked with small business owners? What could we do with that? What would we learn? What if we identified their perceived or real unique differentiators and societal contributions and embedded those into our variable data printing or emails or CRM data or Facebook pages we build for them? The leverages are infinite.
Respect anew the small business owner in the ways they respect themselves. It just makes sense.
Till next time,
Grow The Business.