“Over the Rainbow”

We need to support local. There’s something special about supporting a local establishment, product or service business because there’s more heart than profits that’s the motivation behind it.

Professionally, I have profiled many small businesses to know and understand their struggle, and why their success needs to be celebrated. Personally, I do my best to support local businesses wherever I can and promote them to my friends and family. This is especially true for home industries – the amazing bakers and chefs in our midst who work tirelessly to create unique products.

And so I’m really upset that a small business I have supported and promoted has let me down. Mind you, I even supported this small business owner from my hospital bed last year.

I will not name and shame because that is not in my nature. I reached out to the small business owner to ascertain why they had not fulfilled our agreement. There has been no response – almost two months later. And the arrangement that was not fulfilled was made in November last year. Should I have seen the warning signs? Perhaps. I have had issues with clear communication with this small business owner in the past and simply overlooked it. I should not have.

Communication, I believe, is the most important ingredient for any business to succeed. Even when something goes wrong, communicate. We are all human. Mistakes happen; things do not go as planned, emergencies crop up… but be upfront and honest.

I have also learnt that while social media is a vital tool for small businesses, it should not be the only gauge of the quality of service or goods. The good old-fashioned word of mouth is also important – by that I mean speaking to people who have supported the business about their experiences. Another critical factor in today’s COVID-19 era is delivery options. These should be readily and easily available.

The arrangement that I had made with this small business owner involved a third party so in addition to being disappointed, I was left red-faced. The would-be recipient has been very gracious and understanding about it, despite the fact that her own attempts to reach out to the business owner have drawn a blank.

In an attempt to make it up to her, I decided to support another small business whom I had personally heard about from my cousin. Upon mentioning it to a friend, I was told that she too knows this amazing sister duo and can vouch for them. I began following them on Instagram and when I saw a product that caught my eye, I reached out to order. It was an efficient process – from payment to delivery. And finally, a very happy customer! Thank you to Over the Rainbow for restoring my faith in small businesses. (follow them on @overtherainbow8382)

The take-home lesson for me is that there are many amazing businesses and a bad experience with one or two, should not stop us from supporting local in the future. Many small businesses are borne out of a need to earn an income, given the saturated job market and that COVID-19 has left many without jobs. Some small businesses are a side hustle – that will probably one day help fund a child’s education.

Now, isn’t that worth supporting?

2 thoughts on ““Over the Rainbow”

  1. Ethics is when one does what’s right for the most number of people and the world. Justice is when we put the ethics in for others. When one is ethical, their business will do so much better. Il share information with you that you can share with people who are unethical.

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