Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Climbing Out Of April

Lets be truthful here, April is the hardest retail month of the year for us at HiHo. I'm not sure if it is in actual numbers made, but my expectations are always high and disappointment looms. I get all geared up for the end of the winter blues and think the world will be ready to come shopping again. I order merchandise I'm eager to receive and often told it will be available in May. Customers who do visit are thrilled with the addition of even a few bright color pallets and refreshed displays, but just for looking. It's a tough month, I've never been good at waiting.

People/customers ask all the time "how's business?" Hey it's 2011 and I'm open, right? Sure I want to be busier, grow the business more rapidly, hire more help, give back to the community in bigger ways, but again it's 2011 and we are very happy to be on the mountain and cautiously climbing.

For a while there, the first two years, it felt like we were climbing with ease. We were secure in our footing and could anticipate each move. Well then we like millions of others hankered down hoping the storm would pass. I'm not sure if it has passed or if we are just braver. We are out climbing again, taking risks and feeling more secure about our journey toward the top of the mountain.

The path of a small retailer is both challenging and rewarding. I'm lucky enough to be in a small town that supports my dream. I had the pleasure of receiving a generous complement this week from a fellow entrepreneur, she said to me "it's what you do for the Main Street community, HiHo is part of the very energy that fuels the town." WOW, right? What a wonderful thing to hear while I'm in the middle of my April waiting.
I know other small businesses around the United States are working hard like we are and I feel it's important to recognise that holding on isn't enough, plan your next move, you have a community behind you. Yes, hold on tight, but climb!