Thursday, 16 May 2019 00:00

What Keeps You Up at Night?

By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business

What keeps you up at night?

This is a question we’ve been asking small business owners across Saratoga County a lot lately.

The reality is that small business owners have lots to worry about. They need to make things or create things or provide services of value to customers and clients every day. They have to market their products and services and make sales every day. 

They have to worry about filing the correct paperwork accurately and on-time with government authorities at the local, county, state and federal level. They have to find workers with the right skills and talents. They have to find the money to pay these workers and the taxes assessed upon them. 

Most of them have competition. So they have to worry about finding a way to compete. They also hopefully find a way to earn a living and to spend some time with their families.

They have to decide what to do every day when an employee calls in sick. Or when a volunteer for a charitable organizations asks them for a donation. Or when an inspector shows up to make sure they posted the correct flyer or poster in the right place.

The small business owners I know and talk to all the time live a hectic and busy life. 

They are the CEO. The HR manager. The sales manager. They are in charge of government compliance and customer service. You’ll often find them also making whatever product the business sells or providing whatever service they offer. 

They often have lots of questions as they face so many unique and impossible tasks, questions they cannot answer without the help of a CPA, attorney, a marketing or sales expert, a supplier, etc. With so many local experts in these and other fields, who is the best person to call to get an answer as fast and as inexpensively as possible? 

I truly believe that local independently owned small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities across Saratoga County. Their success is important and vital if we are to be special and unique. Our sustainability as a great place to live, work and play rests with all of us coming together to support them. 

With a mission to focus on local businesses, the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors recently voted unanimously to create a Small Business OWNERS Council. 

This idea has been in the development stages since Theresa Agresta, the owner of Allegory Studios and Culture Talk, became the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, in January.

She believes — and our Board agrees — small business owners need their own place and time to meet and to talk about solutions to the many things that keep them up at night.

The creation of this Small Business Owners Council is a perfect fit with the Chamber’s mission to help local companies to succeed, grow and thrive.

The initial plan of action is to begin hosting meetings exclusively for local small business owners in early June. These meetings will be private with attendees being required to be the ultimate decision maker in the local firm. They will be short and focused with a chance to hear from a local expert on one of the many issues keeping small business owners awake at night and an opportunity to talk among one another privately about whatever concerns them.

We anticipate creating an online portal very soon exclusively for small business owners as well. This way we can also help those owners too busy to attend another meeting to gain access to the information and ideas shared at council meetings.

If you are the owner of a small local business, we invite you to give us a call to learn more about this effort. We can email you a survey right away that will help us understand what’s keeping you up at night so we can determine if you’d benefit from this new program.

Give us a call at 518-584-3255. We want to make it easier for you to sleep at night.

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