Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

If you follow us on Facebook then you have already been reminded of this. Today, Brickhouse Craft Shop celebrated it's fourth anniversary. That may not seem like a lot of years but Patti and I had no idea what to expect when we opened our little shop 4 years ago. In 4 short years though, we have truly been blessed to be able to do something we absolutely love - and share it with the best crafters and customers we know.

We realize that we have what some may consider some unfair advantages in the world of small business: we own the business, including the building (which is on our property) and most of the crafts - we do have some crafts on consignment - but from the day we opened we committed to not carrying any debt. We have no employees other than Patti and I. We don't pay rent or have a payroll to manage. Yes, our shop is very small but it is a legitimate business that the state of Pennsylvania recognizes and awaits our Sales Tax filing every 3 months. So while I will admit that our situation may be a bit unusual for these reasons, any good business person should be able to develop a business plan that positions them to succeed.

So why then do so many small businesses fail within the first few years? There are a number of reasons but I can tell you one very important reason a business won't succeed or survive is that they lose focus of the heart of the business. It doesn't matter if you offer a product or a service - if you focus on making money rather than making customers - you have lost focus of the single most important piece of your business.

Over the past 4 years and to this day, we continue to grow. We still have new customers visiting us. We still have customers who have been with us from the start. We never stop listening to our customers. Patti and I had a clear vision for what our shop would be about - what it would look like, what we would and would not sell. But we are not afraid to change if we feel it is right for the Brickhouse - and our customers have helped us along the way.

Obviously we know that our crafters are critical to our success as well but we believe they also realize how important the customer is. So today Patti and I want to especially thank all of our customers for making our Fourth Anniversary possible. We know that each day we succeed - it's because of you!      


JenR65 said...

Congratulations on your success, hope you have many more. Happy Anniversary!

Raymond Homestead said...

Happy Anniversary Brickhouse!

TheCrankyCrow said...

Happy Anniversary! So very good to see a business like yours survive and thrive. I just, today, had an experience where I shook my head and thought "these folks don't have a clue." I had purchased decoration that had a battery operated candle in it that was apparently defective - the candle is part of the arrangement and the based is secured in, so other candles I had didn't work in it. I made the 30 mile trip to the shop I purchased it at to see if they had another candle I could purchase (as the item is locally made). They didn't, so I kindly asked if I could get the contact info for the person who made it to inquire where she purchased the candle. They said they could not give that info out. I understood this, and then asked if I could leave my name and number and if they could perhaps contact this person and get back to me. They refused. Hmmmmm.... I was not asking for a refund, an exchange (nor did they offer any) - just some assistance in being able to PURCHASE something to get this thing I purchased two weeks ago to work. Would have it mattered that if I told the less than helpful clerk that I had spent hundreds of $ there each year buying my staff's gifts?? Likely not....but, it will be hundreds of $ they won't see from me again. Sorry to ramble on - but it is so refreshing to know there still are places that value the customer.....Wishing you many more anniversaries to come....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Angie Berry said...

Happy Anniversary to you! You are so right, customers first to succeed. From what I have learned about your business just from your blog, I know that you and Patti care deeply about your customers and crafters. This is why you celebrate your 4th year in business. Best wishes for many more in the coming years!

Deanna Wiseman said...

Tim and Patti, You are two people who like jeff and I share a passion for creativity. Creating arts and crafts go hand in hand with creating relationships. And creating relationships is an art that you have perfected.