Two events this last weekend forced me to think about money in my business, where it comes from, and where it goes. The first was a group of customers (I’ll use that term loosely as they haven’t purchased anything in several visits) leaving the business disgruntled after being firmly told that in order to stay and listen to live music at the business, they would need to make a purchase of at least a soda. The second was an extremely generous customer who openly offered to invest in the business.
The first event got me thinking about social norms, what it means to “support” a business and the value of business offered amenities. The second got me thinking about the value of a dollar and who really is invested in this business. My conclusions were closely interwoven. Conclusion 1: in order to really support a business, you need to spend money at it or offer something value added. After all, businesses need to make money in order to operate in the first place. Conclusion 2: Nick and I are pretty adamant about not wanting investors (despite this being so flattering), but when you really think about it… isn’t every person who spends any money here, in fact an “investor” in our business?
All of this led me down an unexpected (but highly important) rabbit hole. If you have spent a dollar here at Ethanology in the last 3 years, where has that money gone? Conclusion 3: an incomplete list of just the local and Michigan based entities (both for profit and charitable) that your dollar has allowed us to help support.
... and that is just what I can come up with off the top of my head. And I have to say, it feels fucking great to know that doing what feels like the right thing personally has also translated to be the right thing for the business. My gratitude for your support is massive, investing in our business has allowed us to become part of this community and hopefully add value to the people and the other businesses around us. At the end of the day, please stay and buy that soda… it makes a real difference, and at the very least only costs you $0.67 an hour to enjoy live music and support another awesome Michigan company Northwoods Soda.
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