Business, Marketing, and Life Advice for Local Business Owners

4 Things I'm Leaving in 2019 (HELLO 2020!)

Jan 01, 2020

Happy New Years everyone!

If you’re reading this on the day this post was published, then we just kicked off 2020, and I hope you had an AMAZING time celebrating with your families. If you are anything like me, you LOVE this time of year because it means reflection and goal-setting.

But this New Year’s looks a little bit different for me.

You see-- in years’ past my “resolutions” were all about things I wanted to do MORE of in the new year. I wanted to exercise...

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2019 in Review-- The Lessons We Learned and the Challenges We Overcame-- Together

Dec 30, 2019

Earlier this week I put an ask out to the 100+ entrepreneurs in my group coaching program, Play Makers Society. I asked for them to share either:

  • One significant thing they’ve learned this year on their business journey

  • One roadblock or issue they encountered that surprised them, OR

  • One piece of advice they’d give their former selves or other prospective business owners

And, wow. 

Their responses were so detailed and insightful, I had to choose a handful of them to...

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6 Productivity Tools I Couldn't Live Without

Dec 20, 2019

As I wrap up 2019, I’ve been reflecting on the things I’ve done best this year, and where I still have room to grow. While 2019 has been a year of massive growth, both professional and personal, I still struggled much of the year with organization.

For the first several months of 2019 I felt like I was constantly juggling a million things at once and I was always left frantic, feeling like I was forgetting something or that I was going to let something important fall through the...

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Highlighting Another Incredible Play Space: The Tot Spot in Oneida, NY

Dec 19, 2019

I first met Tanya, the owner of The Tot Spot Play Center, when she signed up for my Play Cafe Academy program and enrolled in my group coaching program, The Play Maker Society. Tanya, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, quickly worked through the program content and worked alongside her supportive husband and family to open her doors just a few short months after enrolling! Does Tanya look familiar to you? You may remember her from her PCA testimonial on our YouTube channel here!

Her passion...

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To My Sweet Silas, On Your Third Birthday

Nov 25, 2019

This week I’m taking a little diversion from my normal business-related posts because I want to acknowledge my youngest son’s third birthday and share all he has taught me. I love writing letters to both of my boys for them to read when they are older and I wanted to share a small bit of it here with you.

I was hesitant to share this at first, but I know that many other parents are on a very similar path. If you can take one thing away from this letter to my sweet son Silas-- let...

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3 Reasons Why I Did Not Open an Inflatable Bounce House Business

Nov 13, 2019

Another one of the most common questions I get from prospective indoor playground business owners is around WHY I chose my specific indoor play concept for Climbing Vines Cafe & Play. As you likely know, our space is cozy & intimate and focuses on imaginative play for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers.

Many people looking to break into the indoor-play industry struggle around refining their own concept and wonder what they should focus on. For example, should there be a large play...

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5 Tips for Getting Ready for your Busy Business Season

Nov 08, 2019

Here in Western New York, our “busy” indoor playground season typically starts in November and stretches through May.

That means that we are handling an increased volume of open-play customers but also an increase in birthday parties, events, classes, etc.. With the frigid weather, parents of small children are usually looking for as many indoor recreation options as possible.

While your business will naturally get busier during whatever your area’s typical “indoor...

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5 Tips from an Introverted Business Owner

Oct 25, 2019

Owning any business can be difficult as an introvert, but it can be especially challenging when the business is a local brick-and-mortar retail venture.

Even if the owner is not physically present at the store much, the thousands of interactions with customers each week can still require a great deal of intervention and therefore energy from the business owner.

For example, even though I only physically work at my cafe a few times a month-- I am still constantly interacting with customers...

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Why We Don't Offer Discounts to Friends or Family Anymore at our Indoor Playground

Oct 17, 2019

As small business owners it can often feel like we are being pulled in a million different directions. It can also feel like someone ALWAYS needs something, whether it be a team member or a customer or a vendor.

It’s easy to allow yourself to be stretched too thinly and need to rely on a support system for strength when it gets to be too much.

However, what happens when we are being asked for favors from within our own support system as well?

Now, I’d like to preface this by...

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What I Wish Customers Knew About Small Local Businesses

Oct 10, 2019

Have you ever heard the phrase, “kill your darlings”? I hadn’t until this year.

To me, as a business owner, my “darlings” are the business-related things that I love the most-- and hold onto selfishly or against logic because of my emotional attachment to them

On paper, it can seem black-and-white. This service is profitable, so we will keep doing it. And if this other offering is much less profitable-- then we should cut it.

However, in the real world, it rarely...

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