We've talked in this blog before about what motivates small business owners, but one of the key messages they're looking for is respect. They believe they're doing something special, and they want to see signs that other people believe it too. Especially partners, suppliers and anyone else with whom they spend their hard-earned, well guarded budgets.
Example: the other day I received a lovely email from an award-winning entrepreneur I met a few times when I was editor of PROFIT Magazine.
Here's the edited excerpt:
Hey Rick, you may recall being highly supportive of our company... Well, we made it! It was a long road, but we were acquired by xxxx last year and are now working hard to integrate our work into this remarkable company. It certainly represents a BIG change for our little team!
I just wanted to say thanks for your interest over the years. It provided validation and moral support, sometimes when it was needed more than you can imagine."
It was a touching message that I appreciated very much.
I reproduce it here to remind you that the line between success and failure is often very thin. And that behind even successful businesses is a request for respect. If you as a marketer can honour and reinforce the owners' sense of mission and self-worth, you will get through to them in ways that no others can.
Small business is personal.