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.