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New Business in a Small Town (This article is a Rising Star Winner!)

Updated on June 9, 2013

Open For Business

Opening a new business in general is not an easy task, but starting it in this economy – that’s even harder.

A friend of mine decided to stand up for the challenge. It has been his dream for a long time to put his life into his own hands. A location downtown looked so appealing; little shops, and restaurants, friendly vibe on the streets… Bankers so inviting, local newspapers sweet talking you - trying to grab you for advertisements, radio keeps calling with great air offers… And everybody wishes you so well… Before you started.

And then you are finally open for business. Newspapers still keep visiting, but there is more – you have to join all of the possible organizations in town. Especially if you are located on main street. If you don’t join – forget about doing ANY business! Members will only stop by places, with memberships too. And you definitely have to start shopping on Main Street, or other business owners won’t come to you either. Too expensive for you – oh well, that’s just your problem. If they don’t come – who will? There is no proper parking, more parking meters then you can count, and if, God forbid, the weather is unpleasant – you will be sitting and enjoying your brand new business all by yourself.

And if anybody stops by – they will kill you with questions and advice. Funny, since it doesn't seem like they are business owners themselves, but they know it all, and they can advise you, well, just about anything! Really, you don’t even have to think for yourself – just listen and do what they say. Everyone is looking for that perfect place to eat and shop – perfect for themselves, and their criteria. You should up-size and downsize at the same time, you should sell this, and not that, you should advertise here and not there, and you should definitely purchase this and not that equipment. This one is my personal favorite - what you should or just HAVE to purchase. How can you even say something like that to a new business owner? Please, think twice, aren't we all on a budget these days???

And don’t forget about all of the charities that will make sure to knock to your door daily! Of course it would be amazing, if you can help others, but… Can you afford to support anything or anybody, when you need a support yourself?


After you have been around for a few weeks, maybe months, you will get a daily question, how your business is doing. And the answer “good” (you don’t want to complain, and be negative, even if it’s slow), is definitely never enough. After you make an excuse, or try to change the subject, there will be questions: “Do you really think you can make it selling your bagels-T-shirts-shoes?” “How much do you have to sell to make it?” And finally: ”How much are you making?”

One day you decide – I need to take a week off; I have been here 6-7 days a week, working at home, dealing with all of the stress.... You think: "it is a slower season, I will close for a week, since I am not making much money anyway. I will save on bills (heat, electricity etc.), and maybe avoid going insane, and paying doctor’s bills in the future. I will re-energize before the busy season" (which by the way everyone loves to talk about so much - like summer is the only thing that keeps all of us alive, and we will just all get rich over those three months – in, let's not forget, not really a seasonal town. Well, I think it is safe to say that, since I don’t see the ocean or the Rocky Mountains, do you??). Anyway, closing IS A CRIME. How dare you make a decision like this? The eight people that wanted to come on Wednesday and other ten on Thursday, when you’re closed, will definitely make sure to tell everyone how irresponsible you are! You knew what you were doing by opening your own venture! You should be here ALL THE TIME. I agree, but since you all claim, the area is so seasonal, it should be normal to see businesses closed to regroup during the off season…

I know, I know - this all sounds quite bitter, and not very much inviting to open something of your own. Unfortunately... The economy is tough, but this should not be an excuse to be so absolutely negative and discouraging towards new small businesses. Everyday customers can make you smile or make your life a living hell. Support would be truly appreciated, don’t you want to see your town grow and shine? To be an attractive place to live and visit? Remember, the way you behave when you are out can really affect somebody’s life, as well as the well- being of your hometown.

My friend, a rookie business owner, I have mentioned at the beginning of this little story, is alright. He is aware of many obstacles he will meet on his way of getting his business on the right track.

However, maybe we all should take a short minute to think about how we can make a life of small business owners a little easier, it is really though out there!

© 2012 Monis Mas. All rights reserved.


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    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Thank you for reading DDE !!!!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great suggestions and so helpful to anyone in this position thank you

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      That is so nice of you cmoneyspinner1tf!!!! Thank you!

    • cmoneyspinner1tf profile image

      Treathyl FOX 4 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I like to give the article Two Thumbs Up. But only one is permitted. :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Dear Romeos Quill, thank you so much for your very thoughful comment.

      I know that it is a common knowledge that small business starts making money after 5 years. I don't know if I agree with that... So many small business owners get into a lot of debt within the fist year or so, and if they keep going, they may not be able to last 5 years. I think it all depends on a location and type of business, and if you see increase in earnings - then it's worth to wait for better days. That's just my personal opinion.

      Have a great weekend!

    • Romeos Quill profile image

      Romeos Quill 4 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

      Well done Monis Mas on your ' Rising Star ' accolade.

      Now , small business.....the personal touch, speaking as a customer certainly makes a difference, especially in smaller places such as villages and towns.

      My brother and I toyed with the idea of opening our own small business a couple of years back, but he chickened out lol!and decided to invest as a silent partner instead in another business. I've read that most small businesses don't make any significant profit until after about five years - unsure as to its truthfulness, but it certainly sounds feasable, after much hard work, investment and the long hours I've heard it demands.

      The present economic climate, where it seems that cost-cutting is the primary consideration of most householders doesn't lend much hope, but then again, I suppose that could be determined by the nature of the business in question.

      A great Hub :)

      Enjoy a marvellous evening,and Best Wishes to you and your family.


    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Ronna, this is so true! Work is so much more enjoyeble this way, isn't it? Thank you so much for youe thoughtful comment!

    • Ronna Pennington profile image

      Ronna Pennington 5 years ago from Arkansas

      It IS hard to have a business in a small town. I did it and had wonderful customers, but lacked peer support from other businesses. I enjoy writing/working from home (and not feeling guilty if I don't turn an "Open" sign around every day).

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Thank you KEJANNY! For stoppin by and for your kind words!

    • Kejanny profile image

      Kejanny 5 years ago from Papua New Guinea

      This is interesting read. The hub teaches a good lesson for customers.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Kosmo, you are so right - hats off to anyone who gives it a try! Thank you for your kind comment!

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 5 years ago from California

      Running any small business must be a tremendous challenge, whether in a small town or the big city. Good luck to anyone who tries, and if they're thinking of doing so, perhaps they should read this insightful article first. Later!

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Maine is absolutely beautiful. I spent some time there, I really enjoyed it, but it is very seasonal. If you are a local you have definitely a better chance to succeed than a newbie. I admire anybody who dares to open their own thing. If you decide to go with it - best of luck!

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      I am so glad my article could be useful to your daughter. I wish her the best of luck - I hope she will make it! Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Thank you for your comment aethelthryth! It makes me very sad, that main streets are sort of dying off... They used to be a pride of any small town.

    • profile image

      JustCrafty 5 years ago

      Some food for thought, I am trying to decide if I dare to open my own business on Main Street.

    • john000 profile image

      John R Wilsdon 5 years ago from Superior, Arizona

      You have listed very good things to consider when running a small business in a small town. My daughter has opened a coffee shop/sandwich shop/wifi hangout and has discussed some of what you have written about.

      My respect for small business owners has really climbed since watching my daughter fight to build a business. It takes a tough person to persevere to success in the business. Thanks for some of your suggestions - I will share. Voted up.

    • aethelthryth profile image

      aethelthryth 5 years ago from American Southwest

      I'm guessing you're not in our small town, but only because it's statistically unlikely. You have well described how life has been the last few years for many businesses on (and nearby) our Main Street!

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Thank you so much, Cat! This was a real surprise, and made me sooo happy!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Congratulations on receiving the Rising Star accolade for this hub! It is well-deserved.

      Cat :)

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      So it seems, cygnetbrown! Haha! Thank you for stopping by, and a thoughtful comment!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Cygnet Brown 5 years ago from Springfield, Missouri

      Having lived in a small town, I know exactly what you are talking about! As far as the idea of always being open, nearly the same could be said for us writers who work full time from home! We are available all the time, right?

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      I enjoyed your comment very much! So different, so entertaining! Thanks a lot GusTheRedneck!

    • GusTheRedneck profile image

      Gustave Kilthau 5 years ago from USA

      Howdy Monis Mas - One thing, but lots of them. That should work well here on HubPages. One needs a following. That would be one way of getting a bunch of them. Spinoza and Descartes might have argued a bit over the idea, a singular one about such singularity, but today's saying seems to be that "more is better." Perhaps it is. So, you have selected a fine pen name.

      To bolster the monis thought, there is a fellow to be seen on a TV show who constantly says that "money is everything." Maybe that is the reality of it all. I look forward to reading more of your stuff wherein I might learn all about such things. :-)

      Gus :-)))

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Thank you so much Bill! I will remember that!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Been there, done that, and it's exactly the way you describe.

      Welcome to HubPages! I hope you enjoy your experience here. If I can ever be of any help, drop me a line with your questions.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Thank you for your comment, and a warm welcome! I am glad you enjoyed my hub!

    • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

      Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

      Hi Monis Mas,

      Welcome to hubpages. A very interesting and timely article you´ve written here.

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 5 years ago

      Thank you, Cat! I enjoy writing very much! English is my second language, so sometimes it isn't easy, however I like writing in English much more than in Polish!

      Thank you for reading and your kind words!

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Monis Mas,

      I love to see new small businesses open. I much prefer them to large chains and hope that your friend can get ahead. I've always believed that the slow and steady approach works best instead of going for the immediate "all the bells and whistles" tactic. You've really given a good picture of the life of a new business owner and agree w/ Colin (epigramman) that you have an easy yet informative writing style that invites the reader in. All the best!

      Cat :)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 5 years ago

      ....well I see that you are open for business at the Hub - and I am so glad to pop by and extend a warm and reassuring welcome to you.

      I really love your fresh unpretentious writing style and you certainly the knack to communicate the written word very well. This was a very enlightening read and I felt like I was learning something (primarily because I do not have a business mind per se) and at the same time I was enertained by your slice of life point of view as if a reality show came to life and you were the investigative reporter. So hubbravo to you and it will be my pleasure to become your first follower so please check your fan mail. Sending warm wishes and good energy from lake erie time ontario canada 3:09pm


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