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  • Opportunity – From the Desk of the Dwight Economic Alliance

    Every opportunity I get to sneak in ten minutes of the show called “Small Business Revolution” on Amazon Prime, I take it. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s about a large design company in Minnesota that chooses a small town to help revitalize. They pick six businesses in that town and throw all their big city resources at them to help them thrive. Robert Herjavec, from Shark Tank, plays a key role in helping look at their numbers and gives suggestions of how they can meet their goals which range from humble to lofty.

    What I love about this show is that it reminds me so much of Dwight and the people within it. There is such a sense of community pride with everyone featured on the show. They help businesses that are generations old as well as businesses that are just getting started. Each episode also gives you insight into a new type of business. While almost every business on the show struggles with accounting issues and a web presence, each business reveals its own complexities in their industry. They each have their own nuance around pricing strategies, time management, space management, inventory, etc. I love hearing what those are and seeing the solutions these professionals can bring to the discussion.

    Just like in Dwight, each of these business owners is passionate about their business.  You can see them putting everything they have into them, even if success is not coming as fast as they would like. Many are juggling family or another job while they try to make this one work. Most are working an unsustainable number of hours to keep them afloat. All of them find themselves doing things that they did not envision or have the skills to do when they started the business.  I know Destiny at A Touch of Destiny did not open her shop because she loved accounting.

    The thing I see in this show that I don’t often get to see in Dwight is the vulnerability. With cameras in their face, these small business owners open their books to the hosts. They talk openly about the issues they face, where they fall short, and the real reasons they do what they do.  They let these outsiders see behind the curtain and offer constructive criticism and feedback.  The dynamic in this show is not a handout.  It’s a partnership between the experts and the business owners.  The professionals find the simple tweaks that they can make to ease the burden of running a small business.  Sometimes, it is something the owner always knew they should do like invest in that website that they have been putting off for years, but often it is something that the owner, with their head down plugging away at their business never would have discovered on their own.

    It’s hard to be vulnerable in a town like Dwight.  It can seem better to not let others know what you are struggling with.  I bet these small business owners in The Small Business Revolution thought the same thing before.  However, another recurring theme in the show is that the owners are always nervous before their episode airs.  They start to think back about how they poured their heart out and it is about to be there for everyone to see.  Ultimately, after its over, they are overwhelmed by the amount of people that reach out to say they are struggling with the same exact things and have been too afraid to discuss them.

    Let’s start that discussion in Dwight.  We don’t need a television crew to shore up some of the issues we have in the business world.  All we really need is a great community and the resources to turn to.  We already have both of those.  Go to this website to anonymously tell the Dwight Economic Alliance where your business could use a little guidance. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6YXPJL2

    Sincerely,

    Rodney Connor

    815-374-0364

    rodneyconnor@hotmail.com