The gaping black hole in Independent (think NON-G-word) business

We just returned from one of our favorite thrift-centered conferences that we go to; the Association of Christian Thrift Stores (www.ActsWebsite.com) or ACTS conference in Pensacola Beach Florida. There is an amazing community that exists at this conference. It isn’t the largest, in fact it’s quite small, but the community and mutual benefit shared is amazing!

We have attended as a vendor for three years now and work with many of the attendees. Having casual conversations at this event is always an interesting view “behind the curtain” of thrift; one stores challenges are another ones successes and vice Versace. So when we listen, certain trends appear; they all have common boulders to roll up the hill and challenges in their businesses day-to-day. This makes me beg the question:

“Why isn’t there some central meeting place on the web for everyone to talk and grow together?”

The events are amazing and everyone looks forward to them, but should we all be talking and sharing all year? The old saying goes something like this: “A Rising Tide Raises All Ships”

We live in an age when we spend hours of our lives every week reading about common interests and discussing our love if it. Social networks make connecting with each other simple and quick. When we need to learn how to make something we turn to YouTube. When we need to figure out how to change the valve cover gasket on our truck we turn to forums. When we want feedback on the color we are painting our living room we turn to FaceBook, Pinterest, Instagram or Snapchat. The examples go on forever.

So, why is it when we want to learn more, about the thrift industry and running our operations better, we need to travel thousands of miles once a year? I am sure you and I can point to many reasons:
-Too Busy
-Too much employee Drama
-Just want to disconnect when I get home
-Don’t know where to look
-Nobody wants to discuss what they are doing (protecting their secrets)
-I am too shy to ask someone
-……. and the list goes on……

If we are all brutally honest with ourselves, and we need to be, let’s just admit that we haven’t made it a priority!

I have wanted to create this “meeting place” for the last two years, but like you, the busy-ness of work/life has kept me from it. So my question to you is this………..

Can we make this happen together?

If so, please email me and let me know your thoughts and ideas…… There is a need… There is a want for solutions and shared successes….. But I am wrestling with one question that you can help answer for me: Am I just wanting it for everyone? Or can we as a group solve this and make a difference?
Love to hear your thoughts…..

-Bruce
Bbrown@americanbeddingsolutions.com

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