It’s the beginning of March, and spring is just around the corner. For most people, this means a new beginning. But for my business, spring of 2012 is most likely the end of the line. When I launched my small business, Tiny Growl, in January of 2008, I had what I believed was a good idea, but I had no idea where it was going to take me.
Four years later, I can look back and give myself credit for having taken an idea from thought to fruition. Unfortunately, my invention – The ScooPup Pocket – did not become the next big thing in the dog product world, but that’s OK. I learned a remarkable number of things about business, the internet, marketing, the dog world, and about myself. It was a good stretch and any dog will tell you, stretches are always worth taking. I also met an amazing assortment of dogs and dog people along the way.
So, was it all worth it? Yes, absolutely. Do I wish things were different? Of course. I wanted my business to be successful, not just to generate income, but to have the means to help all those dogs out there that weren’t as lucky as my boy Riley. Since I’m a dog lover and animal advocate, this was the driving force that sent a creative, artistic type like me into the business world, albeit with some trepidation.
Word to the wise: if you are a creative, artistic type, be careful where your heart leads you. In my case, jumping into the world of dogs and dog lovers with my heart on my sleeve opened me up to things that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s a cruel world out there for a lot of dogs, and the deeper you involve yourself as an advocate, the deeper the heartbreak and the feelings of helplessness. For someone like me who wants to be able to protect, help and heal every dog in need, it nearly sent me over the deep end.
It took a couple of years, but eventually I realized that even if I had all the resources in the world, it’s just not possible to save every dog. It’s a sad fact, but one that I have to learn to live with. But this is not why I’m giving up. My business was never was able to grow beyond modest sales and I just don’t have the resources or the energy to keep up with the all of the networking that’s essential for a one-woman, small business owner like myself to make my business get noticed in a big way.
Big thanks to all who helped and supported me along the way, and if I can ask one more thing of you, I’m having a going out of business sale at tinygrowl.com through the end of March, 2012. Please pass it on and get ’em while you can. I still think it’s a useful product and I’m still walking Riley with one of my prototype ScooPup Pockets every day. And even though things didn’t work out the way that I’d hoped, I will always be able to say that I tried and I will never have to wonder “what if..?”.