Thursday, September 23, 2010

Small Business's & Shopping Locally

Since becoming a small business owner, I have since become aware of the number of obstacles which exist in order to become a successful business - or for that matter even to simply be able to keep your business open. Especially in Barrhaven!

To begin with, rent is extortionate - some of the highest commercial rent fees in all of Ottawa can be found in Barrhaven. Another obstacle includes the many 'big box' stores in the area, which often times make being able to compete with prices difficult because of the large quantities they may be able to order. Furthermore, being a small business owner requires that quite often one person is responsible for all aspects of the business, including customer service, marketing, accounting and human resources -  which can easily lead to working 7 days a week, all day long!

Now if you are thinking about owning your own business, the many perks can often out weigh the difficulties.

One of my favourite aspects of owning my own business are the many people in the community that you meet and create relationships with - whether as clients or in a business sense. It is wonderful going out in the community and seeing so many familiar faces! It is also wonderful being able to have flexibility in my work day, especially with a young child; I am able to minimize the amount of time that my son is cared for outside the home. Another benefit is if you are really passionate about what you are doing than it can also become somewhat of a 'hobby' and not necessarily seem like you are 'working' all the time. But achieving balance is still my ultimate goal.

I did not think about the challenges of local business's until I opened one. Even then, I was amazed at the number of clients that gave A Gym Tale a chance in order to support a local business. I have become aware of so many families who do make a conscious decision to support small local business's instead of simply going into the 'big box' stores. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet people who live in your community and very often the best customer service comes from those business owner's who value each and every guest that comes through their doors.

I am also trying to make a commitment into supporting other small business's - whether by shopping at these locations or trying to advertise for these business's through A Gym Tale's local business community board. Next time you are at A Gym Tale, please take a moment to look at some of the business's that we have featured on our board. Many of them offer fantastic services that I use myself or for my family. I will also try to blog about my personal experience with these business's over the next few weeks. And if you are a small business owner, please contact me and maybe we can work together in the future.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary Alan!

Two weeks ago, Alan and I celebrated our 3 year wedding anniversary and we had a wonderful low key evening out to dinner and a movie. We enjoyed just getting out of the house and simply relaxing. The past 3 years have kind of been crazy - from our business really taking off, to expanding the business, to buying a home and then having a baby. It is nice that we are able to begin to slow down a little and really enjoy the point that our lives are at now. One of our new goals are really trying to be in the moment and enjoy every moment of the life that we have created.

It was also this night out that we came up with a new business plan - I will share with you soon once we have worked out some details - but it is very exciting.

This month we will celebrate our 12 year anniversary since we began dating!!! 12 years - that sounds a little ridiculous even to me! It is crazy thinking about how we have 'grown up', graduated high school, gone to university, and then went into business together. There have been many ups and downs over the past 12 years, but every moment has brought us to where we are today and I couldn't imagine going on this adventure with anyone other than my wonderful husband...even though he does have a mild obsession with spiderman. Happy Anniversary Alan!

Monday, September 13, 2010

I Survived the First Week of School!

Last week was the first week of the Before School program as well as the Nursery School program. Although, as I said in my previous post that I was very excited to meet all of the new children and families, I was not looking forward to having to be at A Gym Tale for 7:15am! But I made it there on time each day and I have to admit it was quite nice getting up before everyone else in my home and getting ready in peace and I was very productive having the extra morning time at the centre. Not to mention the children in the program are so happy and excited to be there each morning.

It was also great getting back into the Nursery School Teacher role. Although the first week can be a rough start for some children, it is clear that we have a wonderful group of children in both the morning and afternoon. I am very excited to be working with Miss Linds and Miss Chrissy, we have a great year planned!

In addition, Ewan had his first day of Nursery School today. He will be attending on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings. I was worried he wouldn't want to leave my side, however today he was exploring and watching the other children as well as participating in circle time. I am looking forward to having Ewan at work with me as well as having him learn from the other children. Also, in the picture below - Ewan is propped up against the door as he kept falling straight back with the weight of his bag, lol!