The Small Business Saturday tradition brings awareness to communities’ backbone – the local entrepreneurs who are fueling our economy. In honor of Small Business Saturday, we are highlighting three of our customers: NOLA BOARDS, Gumball Poodle, and Air Ad Promotions, who are dedicated to powering prosperity in their communities.
Husband and wife team, Daren Sumrow and Mandy Simpson, are the owners and operators of New Orleans Woodworking, in addition to its sister company NOLA BOARDS. Their unique backgrounds and marriage brought the two businesses together, creating a unique work/life balance.
NOLA BOARDS is a homegrown, handcrafted cutting board and custom furniture company located in New Orleans. Combining their talents, Mandy and Daren teamed up in 2014 to create one of a kind pieces of functional art. As married business partners, they share the same goal and call their partnership an “equity enhancing marriage,” inspiring each other to build great products and prosper within their business.
A priority for their products is quality control. “We’re always asking ourselves, is this something that we would buy, and is this something that we would pay this amount of money for?” Finding a balance between high-quality materials and maintaining a budget is a constant balancing act. For NOLA BOARDS, the goal is to provide their customers with quality products at fair prices.
Erica Easley is the founder of Gumball Poodle, a line of “statement socks.” The unique socks have high-profile customers including Snoop Dogg, Beyoncé and Madonna.
“The most important thing for anybody as they build their business is getting comfortable looking at reports,” says Erica. Since Gumball Poodle is a wholesale business, Erica is constantly reviewing expenses including the manufacturing of goods, staffing, warehousing, legal and marketing fees. Staying in close contact of those numbers is key in running a successful and profitable business.
As a small business owner, Gumball Poodle is on Erica’s mind 24/7. One of the biggest decisions Erica has to make on a daily basis is where to spend and allocate her money. “You have to pay attention to the actual numbers. Has to be about the numbers in the end.” By prioritizing her numbers over her emotions, Erica has been able continuously grow and power the prosperity of her brand.
Air Ad Promotions
Marty Buckholt has owned his own business for over 25 years. Ad Air Promotions works with clients of all sizes all over the world to attract customers through inflatable advertising. From one-man-shows to regional chains to Fortune 500 companies, Ad Air Promotions’ goal is always to get their clients’ customers to their front door.
Since 1998, Marty has been using QuickBooks to run his business. With such a diverse clientele and decades worth of records, one of the biggest challenges is keeping information organized and accurate. “QuickBooks has allowed us to see where our accounts stand, keep an eye on cash flow and just keep us moving in the right direction. It makes our life easier, for sure.”
Like most small businesses, Marty watches his profitability “like a hawk.” While a priority is always getting sales, owners need to be equally as passionate about the numbers. Marty urges fellow small businesses to be “vigilant on monitoring fixed cost increases.”
Get out there and shop!
You can see from the stories above, running a small business is as equally fulfilling as it is hard work. Make sure to support your local small business today (and every day)!