Director, Content Marketing
If there’s one thing working at Copper has taught us quickly, it’s the vast diversity, adeptness and hardiness of small business — and how small-business bread-and-butter growth is so vital to our economy, today.
The world of small business stretches so far beyond the brick-and-mortar, mom-and-pop retail shops and eateries that we all know and love, into nearly every niche and industry you can think of. We’re taking this moment to celebrate them all — including some of our inspiring Copper customers.
The beauty of small business is its ability to thrive on opportunity. Market gap or unresolved problem? Voila, they can create a business that solves that problem or fills that gap. Okay, maybe it’s not that presto-change-o easy, but the possibilities truly are endless. From baked goods that are both delicious and gluten-free, to a recruiting company founded on the human touch, small business owners are hugely innovative and willing to take big risks.
And our pool doesn’t only consist of direct-to-consumer businesses, either. Many small businesses are in the business-to-business realm, offering professional services like consulting or marketing or innovative products that solve the issues other businesses face.
This Small Business Week, we’re jazzed about highlighting a few of our small business customers and giving you a glimpse into their achievements and visions for the future.
We reached out to Copper small business owners and asked them: “What’s your biggest achievement as a small business and what are you most optimistic about for the future?”
Here’s what they had to say:
Celebrating the wins of Copper small businesses
A boutique flight chartering company that customizes chartered flights in Australia and the surrounding region, Flight Charter has grown significantly since opening its doors in 2017. David Mackey, Chief Flight Manager, says, “I think that our biggest achievement has been to bootstrap our business from a $50,000 initial investment to become a business employing 4 staff with revenues of $5M per annum and with zero debt over 5 years. We’re still growing at more than 30% y.o.y.”
And the fact that a small business in the travel industry thrived during COVID is even more impressive.
On Flight Charter’s future, David says: “What excites me is the rapid development of EVTOL aircraft (Electric Vertical Take-Off & Landing) and other electric forms of aerial personal transport that will become commercially available within 10 years, maybe even 5 years.”
When Bill and Dagmar Francis started Flax4Life nearly two decades ago, it was out of a health concern for their family. The couple had discovered that most of their family members either had Celiac Disease or were gluten intolerant, forcing this fourth-generation baker family to turn to a gluten-free diet.
The family decided not to just eat gluten free themselves, but to dive into creating healthy, gluten-free baked goods for all. Their products are made with all-natural ingredients in a dedicated gluten, nut and dairy-free facility — and most importantly, they taste delicious.
“We’re proud of our many achievements and hard-working employees as a small business. If we had to narrow it down to one achievement, it would have to be our transition from plastic packaging to a PLA compostable material for our main line of brownies, muffins and cookies. We’ve reduced thousands of pounds of plastic from the food chain every year by switching. As a company, we produce nutritious and delicious baked goods that are good for you and now good for the planet as well,” says Sarah Bishop, Flax4Life’s Marketing Coordinator.
With some of the business inconveniences of COVID finally fading out, the gluten-free brand is feeling hopeful about the future. “We’re most optimistic that most, if not all, of the supply chain issues will improve in the future. For everyone, the last two years have been challenging, and for a small business, it isn't easy to have to pivot so much with all the disruptions in supply issues and the impact of Covid. Our hope is for the world to settle a little and continue to heal and grow from all the events of the last couple of years as we move towards a more manageable future.”
A small but mighty recruiting firm based in Michigan, Diag Partners’ namesake is the quad at the University of Michigan, the alma mater of several of its founding members. Their unique business model skips the job posting sites for personalized recruiting activities rooted in direct, personal outreach to potential candidates.
Over 10 years in business, Diag has had its share of achievements. “Our biggest achievement, in my opinion... I feel that we have been able to grow as an organization, while staying lean and staying true to our core principles of customization and first class service. We start each day with the mindset that we are going to set the standard of excellence in the staffing and recruiting industry… which includes every interaction, with clients, candidates and vendors alike. In a business world that can be consumed by speed and data, we make a conscious effort to slow down and keep human interaction at the forefront of what we do,” says Carl Saad, Operations Partner, Talent and Hiring.
Looking ahead, “we’re most excited for the opportunity for our employees to grow, personally and professionally. One of Diag's core objectives is to provide a breeding ground for employee opportunity and success. This is a sentiment that we take very seriously and drives our planning and goal setting. We want our employees to have as much opportunity for financial and personal growth as they desire, allowing them to provide for themselves and their families, to a level that makes them feel truly accomplished and successful, however they may each measure it.” We’re proud of the role Copper has played in helping Diag prioritize this objective.
Digital marketing agencies seem to come a dime a dozen, which makes succeeding in this crowded space a tall order. But each agency has its own niche, and for GrowthHit, it’s all about growth marketing.
With just 17 people on their team, CEO Jim Huffman is a mighty one-person sales division — though he’s learned that delegating is a key to growth. On his business’ greatest achievement, Jim says: “it's when I finally fired myself from doing tasks outside of my core skills and letting my team do those tasks better than me. The credit goes to the EOS framework because it helped me form an executive team and empower others to own parts of the business.”
Jim believes in empowering team members with a sense of ownership in the business — which is an integral piece of his vision for the future. “I’m very optimistic about intrapreneurship at small companies. Where big companies have fancy lunches and benefits to offer, small businesses can give team members more responsibility, more ownership and a custom path to being an intrapreneur.”
A Human Resources consultant who’s been running her own business for four years, Otisa Eads is the true definition of a solopreneur. She wears all the hats inside her biz, all while helping other companies better organize their HR systems and processes.
“My biggest achievement as a small business owner is believing in myself and the work that I’m doing for my clients. It takes a lot of courage to step out and start a business! Therefore, it’s imperative to believe in myself and love the work that I get to do in the world. I have to always revisit my why, purpose, and alignment with my goals (both professionally/personally) consistently,” explains Otisa.
“I’m most optimistic about the growth of my business and being able to curate a team of amazing collaborators to support my business and me. I’m learning how important it is to dream about business growth, not just in terms of revenue but the culture and team that I want to have by my side. I’m dreaming and also experimenting with my current team of lovely contractors as I prepare for my business' future.”
Small businesses come in every shape
What small businesses do you interact with on a daily basis? Take a look around; chances are there are more small business owners and entrepreneurs surrounding you than you might think. Happy Small Business Week!