Sunday, October 24, 2010

How we Keep our Small Business Going

While I think that Vacuum Cleaners & Filtration are a noble cause and certainly important to me with the allergy issues I have, it is not the most exciting of topics.  I decided it was time for a new blog so that's not the first one that everybody sees.  What's on my mind is what's on my mind on most days:  how is our business doing?

There are many things to consider when answering that question.  First and foremost we have to pay the bills.  As with anything, even in the non-profit world I used to work in full-time and still do contract work in, you still have to pay the bills.  That one is taken care of; at least for this month.  I don't think we are different than most small businesses, we struggle, some months more than others, to pay our bills.  However, in an era where the economy is still slow, many businesses have closed and lots of people are out of work, we consider it a HUGE accomplishment that we can pay our bills every month.

The second, and probably the most important thing to consider, is "Are we Happy?"  We are a family-owned business.  The people who work for us are family, so it is more than just keeping employees happy, it is people I love and care about, even if they did not work for me.  When I met my husband I had taken a leave from my career as a therapist.  I told him it was my goal to work less and enjoy life more.  I haven't exactly accomplished the first one, but at least the work is different. We do have fun working together and I think most days we are happy doing what we are doing.

The next item to consider is contentment.  I love to shop and I love to make a difference.  Scouring for new products to have in our store and trying to figure out if they will do well is something that is fun for me.  When someone comes into our store and says, "That is so cool," well, I think I have made a difference.  But, when someone comes in with severe allergies or someone who is all about saving the earth and we have a product that make their life easier, then we have made a big difference.

But what about the customer?  We try hard to offer the best in Customer Service.  We are constantly looking at ways to improve.  I offer resources to our small staff and we have regular meetings where we talk about this.  The struggle is between keeping true to our mission, our goals, offering excellent customer service and making a living.  Sometimes it's hard to do all three.  Different customers want different things.  We cannot be all things to all people.  We do occasionally have to turn customers away.  We do offer suggestions, referrals, alternatives if we can.  I promise we'll keep trying.  I hope you'll remember we are doing our best.

Shop online at
In the Oklahoma City area shop

No comments:

Post a Comment