About that goat farm…

Fairfield Brewery Beers Stratford CTIf you think about it, you and me “regular” people rely heavily on the super-bravery of other seemingly-average folks. I call these people “small business superheroes.”

In the town where we live, a new little brewery, Fairfield Craft Ales, just opened. It’s literally down the block from also-break-now-behemoth Two Roads Brewing Company.

Colin and I went to check it out Saturday. The bar is tended with awkward-delight by one of the couples who owns the place/makes the beer/scrubs the floors.

They tell us their story: about their years of brewing in their Fairfield homes. Their doors kids moaning awake Sunday mornings to the powerful smell of yeast and hops cooking (instead of bacon frying).

These folks are small business superheroes, people!

They can’t afford to give up the day job yet, so the the guys still commute to the city during the week, while brewing 8 types of beer and running this business 25 hours a week.

Qualities of a Small Business Superhero

These folks fill up your town with the actual goodness of commerce.

DETERMINED. These business leaders perhaps have been driving toward their goals for years. Ask them and you will see. They have not given up. They laid the groundwork years ago and keep driving toward the end zone.

CONNECTED. Our small business superheroes connect in person and more than once with multiple human resources. And they use them. Mentor businesses, town zoning boards, chambers of commerce, potential clients, suppliers, competitors. They know their business can not succeed in a vacuum.

CONSISTENT. People get confused. Small business superheroes understand that. They work smart and early to devise a cohesive brand. A critical part of their business plan is marketing research strategy — online and bricks and mortar. This allows them to deliver consistent message about their brand.

ORIGINAL. Consumers leave the big boxes and chains out for two reasons: same crap, poor service. Research finds that invest in creativity matters. Small business owners who commit to original and unique products and services succeed more. Don’t lose sight of that.

The Goat in the Room: Time

Goat at Beltane FarmBack in 2011, Colin and the kids and I visited Beltane Farm in Lebanon, CT. It was a magnificent operation, with fabulous cheese and adorable goats.

Colin had always dreamed of owning a goat farm. But after talking to the owner, he was dissuaded. Why?

Paul, the owner laughed, but seemed just exhausted. He joked that he and his partner might never take a vacation again.

Businesses run on all cylinders 24/7. There’s never a good reason to stop working in the early years. After you are established, hey! It’s time for growth!

Understanding how demanding this goat in the room will be is crucial.

If you are wondering how Beltane is doing these days, take a look. Paul looks (relatively) rested… another mark of a small business superhero.

Fairfield Craft Ales
724 Honeyspot Rd, Stratford, CT 06615

Beltane Farms
59 Taylor Bridge Rd Lebanon, CT 06249

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