Do you ever just wake up in the middle of the night and think to yourself “what am I doing”? I do. It happens a couple of times a year. I can even tell you which months it will happen in, and I am sure you can figure some of them easily.
Small business is not for the faint of heart and retail will give you highs and lows that you never thought were possible. Wearing all the hats from maintenance, purchasing, creating, selling, payroll and over all head chief can seem daunting but most days I don’t even think about it. I am a doer. Just get it done. Except for January, March, sometimes September and ALWAYS November. These are the months that are hard for small retail businesses. Oh how I loathe these months.
I call them “the months I question my sanity”. The quiet months when cash flow is a bare minimum, if we are lucky, money travels out faster then it comes in and you question every purchase, payroll hour and “what you are exactly doing this all for”.
This is a journey that I am today questioning. I went to bed a little down, woke up at 4am with a little bit of fear and stayed awake until 6:50. My alarm went off at 7am. That’s when the delirious exhaustion set in. I am sure there were a couple of times today that Joanie felt like a therapist and pulled me back from the edge! March is a hard month. This year in my business I am grateful that Easter is a holiday in March. While some of you are thinking it’s too early, it’s not warm enough, I am saying a little thank you for some much needed business.
I love Gananoque. I love the river. I love the people. This is my home. I am investing in my community everyday. But even I have to remind myself to stop in at the shoe store and get some sandals I don’t need quite yet. Go down to the bakery for some fresh sweets. Stop in at the Pig for my vanilla latte and pick up a couple of birthday gifts at the Bookst
You see it takes just the smallest purchases from our small town businesses to make it a better day for them, a better month. If each of us consciously reminded ourselves to take a few dollars and do that, we would all have so much more to give for our community.
I detest the term, catch phrase, what ever you want to call it – “shop local”. I prefer “shop small” or “love where you live, shop where you love”. No one should be told where to spend their money that they work hard for but when you have decided to spend it I ask that you consider us working hard every day to bring something a little different and unique to the community.
Eventually I hope to wean these months down so that maybe January is my only month to loathe. I will continue to try hard to do so. But I am not crazy, I know I can only do this with the helping hands of great customers and I thank you everyday. You remind me that while the ledge is never far away, I don’t always need to stand so close to it.
Wishing you all a safe and Happy Easter! Till next time, N!