Small Economies

[… A bit of a rant and a tangent.]

Carly-Art_-_Wild_bee_hive_(by-sa)I’m a little on edge about the mess in Washington, are you? If you don’t read the news, maybe you’re fine. But I think things are so extreme that even the normally news-free types can’t avoid learning about it these days. Probably at least 8 out of 10 people you know are aware of the government shutdown.

It’s extraordinary and scary, the way those people in our government are treating each other. Which is the same as the way we people are treating each other, right?

Sure, the politicians are screwing up big time, bickering – as so many describe it – like children. But they also reflect growing polarity among the populace. I can’t fathom why, but even the bad guys have their devotees. We’re split, fundamentally, passionately, maybe irrevocably. [Read more…]

Small is Beautiful

Gustav on top of FreddieThere are five posts so far on this new blog, and I intend to add two more to complete the series of seven posts that constitute the ‘pillars’ of my theme here – i.e., the large impact small businesses can have through online branding.

But today I am taking a small tangent to explore an even more over-arching theme. I have nurtured a pet theory for some years and with the  establishment of this website I hope to advance these researches. Because again and again it becomes clear to me that social and business problems might be solved by minimizing process/distribution/expectation.

The core idea is that we can set things straight quite often simply by simplifying, by reducing the size. Small is beautiful. Schumacher said it many years ago. He talked about economies, and that is mostly the way I mean it too; though I admit to loving all kinds of small things, from babies to flower buds to my little Chihuahua mix, Gustav. I’m not a small person, but I appreciate the efficiency of small systems. And I’m beginning to see that promoting small business is in the interest of all of us.

“Think global: act local” appeared as a bumper sticker 25+ years ago and yet we still have a long way to go in manifesting that excellent directive. Especially, I’m disappointed that the internet hasn’t been adopted and exploited by small businesses as much as one would expect. Probably the learning curve related to using online tools efficiently has proven too much for most in-the-trenches entrepreneurs. Still, potential returns are so great that we really should keep at it.

The internet can make or break our initiatives; and at the same time, making effective use of online tactics can strengthen our business strategies, communications, and confidence.

Allow me to explain that last part. When we figure out how to interact socially on the web, building a following while at the same time promoting our services/products, we figure out how our business answers real needs in actually helpful ways. This translates into

  • vehicles for articulating your USP while remaining personable;
  • building relationships that result in loyal customers;
  • while at the same time managing reputation and putting out fires with ease.

So if you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you will benefit from savvy use of the internet for marketing and communications. The process brings new customers and also shows you clearly the true value of your offerings, along with the best ways to characterize them. This is worth many times its weight in gold!

SBOB is here to help small businesses with their online marketing. The bigger picture is that we want to support, champion, and advance small business, small economies, small politics and communities. Small houses, towns, markets, and gardens. A small perspective in counter-point to the digital age’s voracity for scale.

Scale isn’t always desireable; and possibly it’s mostly destructive.  In many cases we may be far better off with a less-ambitious goal in terms of size. Maybe goals aimed at quality, human service, improved lifestyle, or other values will return more satisfactory results.

What are your small business goals in terms of growth and size of operations/scope?  I’ll return often to this theme because I want to look at case studies: actual stories of entrepreneurs who control size in the interest of life quality. Do you have a story relating to this subject? Please share it in the comments, or contact me directly.

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