Diversity is key to surviving as a small businessBy Guest
By Cristina Hurley
Cristina Hurley Jewelry Design
I was and still am so thrilled to have been able to open a shop here in Canton; it was a goal I worked very hard to achieve. I had been working out of my home for a few years, but needed a bigger space. When I saw my current location available for rent at 3 Rockland Street, I jumped at the opportunity. That was two years ago almost to the day, and I have never looked back. I have met and worked with many local people. I have made new friends and connections with other local business owners. It has been a wonderful experience.
As wonderful as it has been, I have also faced many challenges. My location is set back from the main street and not as visible as I would like to potential customers. Malls and large chain companies are huge competition and attract more clients because of convenience. Families and individuals alike struggle to make ends meet. The economy continues to make potential shoppers wary of purchasing items that might be considered luxurious or unnecessary. All these issues make it a daily challenge to maintain a successful small business.
But there are also positive solutions and outcomes that can be achieved as a result of these challenges. When I started to feel the effects of these obstacles, I decided to make my business more diverse. Diversity has been the key to the growing success of my business. I love my location, so I do what I can to make it more visible to potential clients. I support other local businesses myself in an attempt to keep our community thriving; I shop in local stores for gifts and necessities and I eat at local restaurants whenever possible. I am able to design and produce my entire inventory instead of purchasing it. I also provide different services to my clients, including repairs and custom orders, which has become one of my most sought after and successful services. All these efforts help my business survive.
One of my biggest and most important efforts is to provide the best service to my clients. Customer service is a huge advantage local small businesses have over larger companies, who many times provide mediocre service to their customers. I understand that, as a person and consumer myself, we work hard for our money and want to feel comfortable and confident when we decide to purchase something, whether it be big or small. I make every effort to do this, and I find that the other businesses in town do the same when I shop at their stores. This in itself adds to my concept of diversity — offer many different services, but with the best quality of service possible.
The local small businesses of Canton, mine included, have many wonderful products and services to offer this community. Over the years, living and working in Canton, I have had the pleasure of discovering this firsthand. When you are in need of a gift or a product or service of any kind, consider a local shop before going to the malls and big chains. You won’t be disappointed!
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