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The Foreshadowing of Friends

Map index with leather bound notebook.

It always catches me off guard when my close friends come to me with insightful feelings or opinions. It's delightful when those things come to fruition. Way back in February, before the world shut down, a close friend confided they felt I was about to become really busy in the success of what I had been working on for months. A lot of that work was positioning my place in the marketing world. Understanding what I was delivering and really knowing that it was beneficial for my goals as well as the clients I was seeking.

Little did I know that success was already in my wheelhouse, and the shop that I had aligned with to lead through digital marketing was going to demand more time. It was pretty effortless to provide the designs they needed, but with a little perspective and strategy, and an eight week forced shutdown, everything came back online with an energy we didn't expect. Clients were eager to get their maintenance in, but most importantly, they had extra funds to spend. With a full staff, the shop performed 300% higher than average and my personal salon services soared. Everyone we encountered was elated to be healthy after living through the biggest scare of their lives, and still the ebbs and flows of the 2020 pandemic are headline worthy but there is one thing people aren't talking about.

People across the country dropped their careers working for corporations and sought after their passions, or turned to their natural skills in order to keep money coming in and food on the table. They became truly self employed, the government doled out cost of living checks that angered essential workers who were still employed making half that income solely because in twenty five years, the federally mandated cost of living wage has not increased proportionately to the cost of goods and services.

I have in depth conversations with tech friends, small business owners, coaches; and everyone is in agreement, we love the convenience of Amazon, but the business model is curbing our small business profit margins. The on demand nature they have given us has created a great job force, but at the expense of business owners truly being self employed. What's worse, these same neighborhood staples are taking another loss with the use of independent delivery providers and excessive fees. Our lack of courtesy for other people isn't as obvious on the surface but after you deduct credit card fees, insurance increases (digital security is a factor to consider), digital maintenance and the natural cost of supply. What money is left for Mom and Pop to take home?

But, I digress.

Amazon is inevitable and the on demand nature of our services, and ultimately, the products we sell with them are being diverted through instant shipping companies. Retail isn't dead, and the past 90 days have proven that I can dramatically increase my income by selling products that perfectly compliment my business. I became busier (more money generated), just like my friend had foretold, but when I assess my schedule on the backside, I didn't add any hours to my day. It was all about being knowledgeable, prepared and confident. I had the products ready to go, which has always been a crutch for me. I was that girl that would promise to order it and fifty percent of the time, they would just go to Ulta or the grocery store later.

My next step is to keep up with the Jones' by finding the most cost efficient method of delivering the consumables that they love so much in the salon. I believe in the products, the clients love them, now it's just a matter of convenience. I invite you to meet your favorite small business in the middle; support them and pay for shipping if it's necessary. Shop local, and if you have the need for artwork and handmade items like home decor, start with your Facebook friends for a great recommendation. Together we can use digital media to keep small businesses thriving.

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