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That's enough

I don’t want this blog to sound whingey or privileged as some horrific stories are emerging out of Napier and its surroundings, that put our problems into perspective.  So instead this is a shout-out to all the small businesses, sole traders, and independent soldiers out there, who have worked through these challenging few years. You're doing amazing work out there, we see you!

Each year I try to be optimistic, yet each year has presented new challenges.

It feels like we are all suffering a bit of fatigue as a nation.

Come on universe, cut us some slack!

As a small business owner, I consider myself to be pretty resilient. I have pivoted my business when I needed to and have overcome partnership breakups, breached databases, multiple lockdowns, staff troubles, building issues, the list goes on.

I have chatted with other self-employed people recently and we agreed that this compounded level of stress has eaten away at our confidence, mindset and placed many of us in a permanent state of anxiety.  Being in business used to be fun, now we may get one good week then be slammed by a virus, a natural disaster or another tax.

We are ordinary kiwis, trying to do right by our staff but end up working twice as hard to often barely break even or get ahead.

I love my job. I love my business and the people in it. I have big dreams and yet the harder I work, my little dream seems to slip further from my grasp.

How do we balance rising minimum wages with having experienced staff still feeling valued?

Can we keep blaming inflation and pass rising costs onto our clients or will they start to look for the nearest special?

Is it good to be profitable and pay more tax or do we keep reinvesting back into the business?

How do we reduce costs without downgrading our business?

These are just a few of the problems that swirl around in my head and many others.

This morning I walked into work and was instantly assaulted with this awful smell. I thought Cheyanne had eaten dairy again, but it turned out to be a leak in the gym from Cyclone Gabby, that had started to marinate with the warmer weather yesterday.

We pay $10k in various insurances and couldn't even claim for loss of income during one of New Zealand's most prolific natural disasters, fingers crossed they will at least cover some new carpet.

It does help to share and have a laugh so you know you aren't alone which brings some mild comfort. Whether you are just starting out or have been doing this for a while, we all need reminders of what value we bring to the world and a little helping hand to push us forward.

Customers are over-stimulated, stressed and distracted. It's time to strengthen and build meaningful relationships.

  • Reach out to your community. Be transparent. People like to buy from people.

  • Research your market, look at trends. Don't be afraid to try something new or different.

  • Remember your purpose.

  • Get moving. Endorphins help clear your head, lift your mood and distract your brain.

  • Talk to other business people, especially experienced ones who have weathered these types of battles. (Not the shit-talking, overnight success unicorns)

  • List your big goals, then break them down into manageable baby steps. Then do the baby steps!

We must also remember we are customers, and how do we support other small businesses. What is that little bit extra we can do to help others along?

  • Take pics, tag and share on your socials. It's quick and is appreciated.

  • Check in to places

  • Leave positive reviews if you like their work.

  • Make recommendations if you see the opportunity.

  • It may cost a little more but try to buy from smaller co-ops.

Us Kiwis are a resilient bunch. We are creative, diverse and innovative. Take a minute, shake the shit off and remember who you are.

Trish Tucker


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