It’s always heart-warming to see local business owners supporting other local businesses, because the truth is none of us builds a company or a brand by ourselves. It takes people, a whole lot of people to support our efforts, appreciate what we do, champion us, lobby for us, do business with us, recommend us . . . and that really is the best part of being a business owner, seeing how people will circle around and support your efforts.

Being a an owner of a marketing company in St. Charles, IL  means we’ve experienced an outpouring of support from those who come to our workshops, attend our webinars, do business with us, or even just had a conversation with us. Maybe it’s because we’re a husband and wife team or we’re pretty open about our stories, or because we like them – all I know is we wouldn’t have survived without them.

Gratitude is a powerful thing.

Just as so many fantastic people have supported us over the years, we love supporting others who are grinding it out, doing their best to provide products and services to their local communities and beyond. I, personally, love leaving reviews, liking and sharing posts and passing along referrals for businesses so I can help spread the word for them. Being able to do something to help another business owners is fun for me – it makes me feel good to help someone else out. I can’t know where it will go, but if I can help someone pay that next bill because they got a lead from me, if they can afford something they couldn’t before because of a new customer because I shared something – that means the world to me. That’s how small business is built  – one lead, one referral, one customer at a time. It doesn’t take a lot, it’s just recognizing the power of a review, the power of a social media post . . . there is power in sharing our experiences, and our stories.

The longer you’re in business, the more tough stuff you’re going to experience and with each new challenge comes a renewed empathy and even deeper respect for our fellow business owners – even the ones we may not like all that much(!) because we know they’re facing similar challenges – the small guy up against the large conglomerate, the gal up against the bigger firm, or the family company against the big box with all their inventory – we start rooting for the underdog – it really does become an ‘us versus them’ sort of thing where we all band together – us “small business owners” against the world.

Small business in Illinois isn’t getting any easier and when you live the challenge every, single day – it’s easy to get cynical, it’s easy to become jaded and turn inward and all self-protective but, we need to do the opposite.

Small Business Owners gotta stick together!

If you’re a small business owner, you likely own a lot . . . of debt. You likely sleep a lot . . . in just 5 hours. You probably really enjoy those paychecks . . . after you’ve paid your employees, vendors, creditors and all of your bills. You probably love your weekends . . . full of work. Yes, I exaggerate . . . a little. The truth is, if you’re a small business owner your work/life balance is often skewed at various points in your business or at different times throughout the year. When you live counter to the corporate culture you really are on your own and it can be lonely which is why we need each other and need to support each other.

That support, that camaraderie is crucial to our survival! That’s why it’s so important to go to networking events, meet for coffee, share memes on Facebook or vent in online forums or closed groups – because that’s our office. Our fellow business owners are our peers, even if they’re vendors, or clients – we need a group who understands what constricted cash flow really means.

Awesome New Business in Fox Valley

Connecting and supporting is at the heart of small business ownership and that’s why whenever a new business is willing to generously support other business, like Chrissy Somers of Families on the Fox, it warms my little heart.:) Chrissy has created a fantastic website full of resources for families in St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia and she’s started a fast-growing (and quite fabulous!) Facebook page touting all things Fox Valley. She is staying on the pulse of the community and it’s fun, relevant and well, you just want to be part of it – in a sense she’s created a phenomenal brand in a very short amount of time.

I’m delighted to see that she is highlighting local authors and doing it so freely. She is the reason I love working with small business owners – because when someone is open, generous, passionate and has a great idea – magic happens. When small business owners pay it back, pay it forward or simply recognize those around them, they spread joy and inspire those around them. And goodness knows, those of us running our own businesses need all the encouragement and inspiration we can get.:)