One of the really challenging things about running a business in this age and day is knowing when enough is enough. Of course you want to celebrate your business and you want people to know just what you do. For many of us it’s not just a matter of vanity; many of us actually can do well to make others lives better. Sharing all of that whenever you have the opportunity is one of the joys of being a small business owner. But when does too much become too much?
The short answer to that question is never, so long as the parallel is appropriate. You always want to be touting off what you are doing when things are happening at your business. But you don’t want to be droning on and on about your business especially if the connection just isn’t there.
Say you are a provider of boutique animal toys for dogs. This is a pretty accessible business because a lot of people have dogs. Dog lovers are a pretty pure breed [sic] and they often enjoy swapping dog stories with other dog lovers and finding new ways to make their dogs lives better. So when you are in like-minded company you can bet that talking shop is great.
If, though, you’re out at your nieces confirmation or your nephews choral recital; bringing up doggie toys at these unrelated events just isn’t couth. You don’t want to be that person who keeps bringing things back to themselves. An even more refined way for the doggie toy owner to behave if someone else brings up their business is to decline to even go there;
“This is not my day, this is for my niece or nephew, but I’d love to show you something which could be great for your dog; can I call you tomorrow?”
This level of decorum really shows someone who understands that there is such a thing as time and place.
However, when you have a business and it is relevant, it’s important that you speak out as often as you can! One of our favorite bed and breakfasts from Sleep Here Now is still located in Chestertown Maryland, Simply Bed & Bread. Innkeeper and chief proprietor Cheryl Hoopes is the consummate champion of her own destiny and she is an absolute delight of an innkeeper.
We first visited Simply Bed & Bread in 2010 and we actually came back hot on the heels in 2011. But Innkeeper Cheryl has been a friend on Facebook for some years and following her progress on social media is engaging. She is always championing community events, talking about her amazing guests, and touting her business in every media crack she can finagle.
Which is what we all should be all about. As a small business owner you should be your own biggest champion of your business. If it’s not you talking about your business it is going to be someone else talking about their competing business. So don’t bang the drum obscenely when the tenor isn’t called for. But don’t hide back in the shadows when you have the opportunity to share with the world who you are and what your business is all about!