Lush green palms
Green magnolia leaves speckled with sea salt
Dark purple stormy skies with the
Gorgeous orange sun pushing the clouds away and
Lighting her ebony hair
All I see is color and I’m in LOVE!
Pensacola Newborn Photographer
Pensacola Baby Photographer
Pensacola Maternity Photographer
Why You Need to Support Small Businesses
I cover retail, customer service and all things to do with small biz. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Small business is – quite frankly – big business. The Small Business Administration identified that there are more than 28.2 million businesses operating in the United States as of March 2014, with about 63% of new jobs being created from small businesses between 1993 and mid 2013. Of these 28.2 million businesses, most are “self-employed” – making up about 3/4 of the U.S.’s total businesses. Meanwhile, approximately half of small businesses survive five years or more, many of which make up your local LOCM +0% coffee shops, favorite local boutiques, preferred chiropractor or local pet shop.
When you consider how many small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, it is impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive. Yet, many Americans frequent chain stores without considering their local merchant or other small business options. Whether it’s filling a prescription at a local pharmacy vs. Walgreens or picking up eggs and milk at a local corner store vs. your nearest Walmart, small businesses are too often overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Customers assume that pricing will automatically be higher at a small business vs. a corporate owned store, as well as they dismiss the perks that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory assortment and community support. However, did you know that many of these misconceptions about small businesses are just that… misconceptions? Here’s why:
1. Stores do not control pricing of most products. Vendors do. When you consider brand names like Under Armour UA +0.95%, Melissa & Doug children’s products or Fossil FOSL -0.3%, you have to also consider that the prices identified on them for sale are identified by the vendor – not the store. With some exceptions, stores primarily have no control over a product price but rather are provided a MSRP (Manufactured Suggested Retail Price) that tells them the price the product should be sold at. Over time, if the product doesn’t sell or a store has a promotional event taking place, this price may be lowered. But generally speaking, vendors want their products sold at their suggested rate, therefore retailers are not encouraged to lower them unless it’s discussed in advance – such as stores like Nordstrom do for their famous Anniversary Sale. Many small merchants, as well, also offer discounted items for special occasions – therefore not making this exclusive to big box stores.
2. Inventory is not always more easily available at big box stores. Smaller merchants have the same access to vendors as big box stores do, therefore if you need an item and it’s not available in their store, it’s likely they can get in touch with the vendor right away and try and order it for you right away. Of course, there are always exceptions, but most small store owners are eager to go above and beyond in their customer service support and this is just one way they can do so for their customers.
3. Customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses. Again, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking you should expect that a smaller business will deliver stronger customer service. Their personal commitment to their business certainly helps in these efforts, but even from their collective team – no matter how small or large it is – typically stronger customer care is experienced. Among the reasons why is that they have a more hands-on role within the company, therefore building a stronger sense of care for the job they do. Additionally, smaller companies are more flexible in their customer support – with a willingness to bend rules if necessary (such as alter a return policy) or deliver VIP treatment when least expected (such as home delivery for a customer during a rain storm). While every business is different, what also makes customer care among small businesses more valuable is just that – being different.
4. Product diversity and options are often greater at small businesses vs. chain stores. Sure, a big box merchant may have a larger footprint in your local community, but that doesn’t mean they have more variety to offer you. When you walk into a chain store, you know exactly what you will find. However, when you walk into a local business, you are often surprised by the inventory options. This is to a customer’s advantage and is among the many reasons to frequent your local stores more often. And remember – just because a big box store is just that… bigger… doesn’t mean they have more to offer. The assortment of inventory at big box store are just deeper, not more diverse.
5. Local business owners are more likely to give back to your community. Beyond actual dollars being kept within your local community – which is significantly higher when dollars are spent at a local business vs. corporate one – small business owners are also more likely to “do good” for your community, as well. Small businesses deliver community character and economic advantages to the town they are positioned in, but also strengthen partnerships among neighbors, residents, other small business owners, community leaders and even schools by offering social and economic relationships. Many also support local causes, creating even more good within a community.
Another interesting point to consider is that small businesses do not always stay small – such as Ben & Jerry’s or Ralph Lauren. Both began as just dreams filled with a tremendous amount of hard work, long days and tired nights. Today, they are among the most recognized brands in our country. Yet while most small business owners will not see this type of growth, their value to our economy and more specifically – your local economy – are just as important. There’s even a day to celebrate them – Small Business Saturday – which takes place the Saturday following Thanksgiving, anchored between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Small Business Saturday, any Saturday or any other day in between, supporting small businesses deserves to be part of your everyday routine.
Pensacola Newborn Photographer
Pensacola Baby Photographer
How will I know if a doctor recommended by someone else will be suitable for us?
This questions comes up a LOT with my maternity clients and if you’re like me, you’re always asking friends, family and neighbors for recommendations. Recommendations for a plumber, child care, schools, electricians. But, when looking at recommendations for your Pediatrician, how do you decide who is right for you and YOUR family? People look for different things in doctors, and what’s most important for you may not even be on someone else’s radar. So rather than just gathering a list of names, try asking some probing questions of whoever makes the recommendation, such as:
- How does your child respond to the doctor?
- Does the doctor seem to enjoy working with children?
- Does the doctor seem to know about the latest medical advances?
- Does the doctor welcome questions?
- Does the doctor take time to discuss problems and listen to your concerns?
- If it’s a group practice, do you know and like the other doctors?
- Is the office staff patient and helpful?
- How long do you usually have to wait?
- Is the waiting room pleasant and kid-friendly?
- Is parking plentiful and convenient?
- Is there anything you don’t like or wish was different about your child’s doctor or her practice?
The answers you get can help narrow your list to the handful of doctors you’d like to meet in person.
While I am COMPLETELY biased, we’ve loved visiting Dr. Sarah Waite at the West Florida Medical Group and Dr. Jodi Picasso at Pensacola Pediatrics! Please tell them we sent you! #bestpensacolapediatricians #bestpensacolanewbornphotographer #pensacolanewbornphotographer #pensacolababyphotographer
Can your newborn photographer help you get from here to there?
Questions To Ask
Congratulations! Expecting a child is undoubtedly the most exciting time in your life and you must have a million questions about newborn photography; what it is, how to hire a newborn photographer, where to find one, and what to look for. Well, this is the place for you! Lets start by highlighting a few questions that you might want to ask your potential newborn photographers, in hopes of narrowing down someone that is right for you!
Ask to see their portfolio, or just take some time and go through their website. Every newborn photographer has a different style and vision. Photography is a very personal experience, and regardless of trends or what is in ‘style’ make sure that you choose a photographer that’s right for you. Choose a newborn photographer whose work you can’t live without – that pulls on your heart strings, and speaks to you. This is a moment in time that you will never be able to get back – so take your time, find the photography style that you love, as these photographs will become a part of your family history for generations.
2. Testimonials & References
Once you have narrowed down your choices, why not ask for testimonials or references? As well as being a skilled photographer, the individual photographing your newborn will also be a caregiver for your infant during the 2-3 hour session, posing, soothing, and handling the most important and fragile person in your life.
Ask how long they have been in business, and what education they have. An experienced newborn photographer will know all of the industry secrets about posing, soothing and most importantly safety for your newborn. There are many workshops and newborn photography courses that are available for photographers that cover topics like safety and comfort of your child during the session – why not ask where they learned their skills from? This is an important question, and will help you decide if they are right fit for you.
This is the last thing we mention, for a reason. The investment of a newborn session differs from photographer to photographer, and where you live. Although cost is a factor and rightfully so, try not to make it the only factor.
These photographs will be in your family for generations, they will be shown again in 30 years time at your child’s wedding, then resurface when your child is expecting their own baby. When you hold these photographs in 35-40 years time, you will close your eyes and be able to recall everything about your child when they were newborns – their baby ‘smell’, the warmth of their bodies, their little fingers and toes. These photographs will not only serve as documentation – they will serve as food for your soul. Although cost is a factor, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor. Choose a professional newborn photographer that will provide you with stunning images that you can’t live without.
Here at CAVU Photography we are members of the PRINT Movement! Statistics show that a staggering 53% of consumers haven’t printed a photo in more than 12 months, 70% don’t have photo albums, and 42% no longer print photos at all. We are essentially raising a generation conditioned to not print photographs. It’s time to change the trend and spread the message by printing your favorite photographs and storing them in beautiful albums.
At CAVU Photography we make this dream an easy reality for busy families! Using state-of-the-art software we take the beautiful images from your session and help you curate gorgeous, heirloom albums and wall galleries and gifts for your family.
Not convinced? Here are 3 reasons why you should print your pictures to preserve them:
The Threat of Digital Data Loss
A large majority of our pictures and files that we have are now stored in computers or uploaded unto the cloud. Facebook, Instagram, and many other applications have made it very simple to take a picture from our mobile devices which will be uploaded instantly on their platform. The ease by which pictures are taken, stored and shared have made us rely heavily on these platforms to preserve our precious memories.
Vint Cerf, one of the fathers of the internet, advised internet users to begin preserving digital data, such as photographs, or risk losing them forever. “We stand to lose a lot of our history. If you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives which is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people’s tweets, all of the World Wide Web, then if you wanted to see what was on the web in 1994 you’d have trouble doing that. A lot of the stuff disappears,” he warned.
The internet is not the only problem. Computers and hard drives crash all the time. Smart phones and tablets get lost or destroyed. “Digital files can never be as secure as something you can hold,” shares one user on Quora.
Lost to the Digital Graveyard
I came across several blogs and articles that talked about how the pictures get buried in the digital graveyard. The words “buried” and “digital graveyard” were a resounding buzz word in these articles that date back to 2013.
It’s so easy to take and store photos these days that we can generate hundreds of pictures in one day alone. But what happens after? What happens after you’ve taken the picture? Do you upload them to a social media platform? Do you keep them locked away in your hard drive? Will you look at those pictures again after a month?
To be perfectly honest, I have so many pictures stored in my computer that I haven’t looked at for a long time. And even if I do want to look through them, there are now thousands of them so just the thought of going through all those photos is already quite exhausting.
In the days of photographic film, you had to choose the perfect shot otherwise you’d lose that moment forever. You would invest a lot of care and thought for each photograph, because you had a limited amount of film. Since it’s now so easy to take pictures, even the most random and irrelevant things get photographed. Can you just imagine printing a roll of film filled with just your selfies and laying those pictures out on a photo album? These “fluff” pictures take up a lot of your space and bury the most important pictures in your digital vault. And the reality is that you never get to look at them anymore.
Print has an “actual” presence
Printing gives life to your pictures. It’s hard to ignore a picture when it’s mounted on your wall or if it’s in a frame at your desk. The memory stored in the picture adds character to wherever you put it, which is why many DIY home design articles include personalizing your home by framing your pictures and displaying them in different rooms.
Printed photos are inspiring. In one of our recent blog posts, we talked about printing inspirational quotes and displaying them in areas of your home where it’s easy to view to give you a daily dose of inspiration. Photographs have the same – if not better – effect. Seeing the smiles on the faces of loved ones or having a visual reminder of that one specific memory is heartwarming and inspiring.
Shared from our friends at inktonerstore.com