Why do only some small businesses survive?

What I have learnt from a decade of working with small businesses

In over ten years as a graphic designer, I’ve worked with hundreds of small businesses. Some have stood the test of time, and others flopped within the first couple of years. I started noticing a trend with the ones who kept coming back to me, year after year, with stories of their success.

The secret is hidden in the stories. The businesses that stayed afloat, kept their loyal customers coming back, and sky-rocketing their turnover all had a pretty incredible story to tell.

They had built their empire from nothing.
They had undergone a tragedy which made them determined to be more.
They had risen as a female in a male dominated industry.
They had been let down by previous business partners and decided to go out on their own. They were a single parent.
They had started fresh after a marriage failure.

They all had a the same great down to earth kiwi humility despite their achievements, and they shared it with their customers. They let their customers get to know them, and that was the secret.

When your customer knows you, they start to trust you, and when you trust someone, paying their invoice stops being a bill, and rather becomes an exchange of good energy.

You don’t have to survive a tragedy to be successful in business. Your life story is equally dramatic and adventurous and made you who you are today. The difference is whether you choose to share it with your clients and how you choose to do so.

We can get caught up in thinking that being a professional means we can’t be personal. I like to think we can be both.

The most rewarding part of my work is helping clients translate their stories it into a strong brand and visual marketing materials. Never discredit the value of who you are, because there is no one quite like you.

small business

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