Last night I met up with a friend of mine who owns a new salon in Downtown Brooklyn called the Green Room Salon (http://thegreenroomsalon.com/)– a beauty paradise which serves as a great escape from the urban jungle of New York City. Natasha Paul, the salon owner, and I started talking about what it’s like being entrepreneurs in “emerging” Brooklyn neighborhoods (for those of you who know me, you know I hate this term. It’s so not a way to talk about a large number of the neighborhoods here in Brooklyn, but unfortunately in a Manhattan centric world, anything outside of the “city” is considered an emerging area excluding places like Westchester and Long Island, the capitals of suburbia) and the trials and tribulations that come with all of that. Over the years we both have watched new business pop up left and right. Some here for the long haul. Others just seem to disappear as quickly as they opened.
Why does it seem that some businesses have what it takes to survive while others don’t? One thing that we both agreed on is that a business’ success depends a large part on the drive and determination of the owner(s). Drive and determination– sounds a lot like the words that dominate the fluff pieces about athletes during the Olympics. But the truth is, they are about 90% of what it takes to run a business, especially a small business. You have to have “faith of the heart” to run a small business. Between the economic hardships, competition and other ups and downs, small business owners have to be strong willed and brave. Entrepreneurship is definitely not for the weak.
If you really think about it, small business is the backbone of our economy. A majority of those mega companies that dominate the stock lists of the New York Stock Exchange started out as small businesses (i.e. MetLife (Metropolitan Life Insurance) and Bank of New York). So folks, patronize your local businesses. They are the people that make our neighborhoods our home.
Check out some of the small businesses I have on my favorite places list and lend your support.