Starting and building a small business takes more than a good idea and the finances to make it happen. The courage to make the leap and trust in yourself is equally important, according to several local business owners. Celebrating those small business owners and the impact they have on local economies has been the focus of this week’s National Small Business Week.
National Small Business Week, hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, is an annual event that honors the nation’s top small businesses, entrepreneurs, and business advocates.
President Donald Trump in his proclamation declaring May 5 – 11, 2019, as National Small Business Week stated, “America’s 30 million small businesses are central to our economy and our communities. Their courageous innovation makes our cities and towns vibrant places to live, work, and raise families. Small businesses employ almost 59 million workers, more than one-third of our country’s labor force.” He added, “This week, we celebrate the pioneering spirit, creativity, and determination upon which America has always been built. This undaunted conviction drives our entrepreneurs and small business owners, whose hard work and perseverance give our Nation economic strength.”
“This isn't just about supporting our small businesses, it is about celebrating the small business owners’ dreams, their courage to take that leap of faith and their determination to succeed. The small business owner is the backbone of our local economy, they are the catalysts of making our growing community better, and they are the ones whose visions inspire others,” Tasha Lindsay, Executive Director of the Grain Valley Partnership, said.
Seeing a vision come to life is not only satisfying for the business owner, but according to Jayci Stratton, owner of Studio Five Beauty Boutique, it impacts the entire family.
“There’s a sense of fulfillment when your kids watch you get to start something from nothing, and it succeeds and grows in ways you didn’t even see coming,” Stratton said.
Kirby Welsh, owner of Vintage Chic Scents, built a successful online business and recently opened a storefront in downtown Grain Valley. Welsh enjoys the flexibility owning her own business affords her and her family.
“The most satisfying thing about owning my own business is flexibility with my schedule to balance my personal and professional life. I had a baby last year and it is great to be able to spend extra time with her when I want,” Welsh said.
Local business owners are quick to mention that the road is not always smooth, and there are real risks and sacrifices to consider.
Dr. Catherine Dowd, owner of Grain Valley Chiropractic, agrees that the decision to start a business can be daunting.
“I was terrified to start my own business. What motivated me was a quote from Tony Robbins: ‘It is not a lack of resources that makes a person fail. It is a lack of resourcefulness.’ Some people start businesses in their garage and get told they can't do it. They didn't give up. Now they are millionaires,” Dowd said.
“I co-owned a salon in Blue Springs for 11 years before the opportunity came along for my husband and I to own a salon on our own. The response from the residential community and the business community here in Grain Valley has been overwhelmingly positive. The staff and I find ourselves saying ‘Why didn’t we make this move a long time ago?’ But we all know that timing is everything, and it wouldn’t be what it is today if it had happened any differently,” Stratton said.
“Once you have determined that there is a market for what you’re offering, get creative, be open minded and don’t be afraid to ask lots and lots of questions. Think outside of the box, but make sure you have someone on your side who thinks inside that box! Then prepare yourself for very little sleep while getting your business ready to open. It’s all worth it in the end.”
“The biggest piece of advice I’d give someone opening their own business is to do what’s best for you, your family, and your business even when it’s incredibly hard. Others always have opinions, but they are not in your shoes. Trust your gut,” Welsh said.
The Small Business Administration’s Kansas City District Office offers a variety of resources and events to support new and established business owners. For more information on their programming and services, visit https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/mo/kansas-city. The Grain Valley Partnership serves the business community in Grain Valley through a variety of business services and networking opportunities. For more information on the Grain Valley Partnership, visit www.growgrainvalley.org.