A Tribute to Small Business Dads

Father’s Day is on Sunday, and as I reflected for today’s blog post, I realized my dad is the reason I am a successful small business owner today. My dad, Mike Kinslow, has been a small business owner since he was 22. My parents bought a car wash and soon after started a changeable letter sign operation. They opened a custom hot tub store during the infancy of the spa craze. Using his car washing expertise, my dad invented and patented a radical new idea for car washing – a glass car wash building named Lighthouse Carwash. He morphed the business from simply selling products to offering entrepreneurs an entire turnkey business model.

Why I love small business marketing

My dad taught me almost everything I know about small businesses, and he is why I love small business marketing. Over the years, I’ve learned that he is entrepreneurialism personified. Here are some of his traits that I find are common to most small business owners:

  • My dad has an incredible work ethic. Small business owners know that working hard is the answer to their success. However, one of my dad’s favorite sayings is, “Work smarter, not harder.” He would be the first to chastise anyone for laboring without first thinking about how it could be done more efficiently.
  • Before making decisions, my dad always considers how it will affect his family and employees. Family values and faith in God are of utmost importance to him, and his generosity knows no bounds. This kind of heart is prevalent with all small business owners. You don’t just want to make money. You want to do the right thing.
  • My dad has earned his living searching for ways to fix other people’s problems. Relentless pursuit of the next big idea gives him an adrenaline rush. Without this passion, small businesses could never thrive.
  • If the going got tough, my dad would just work harder. All experienced small business owners know there are lean times at some points in their entrepreneurial lives. The key is to never quit, work harder and keep up that relentless pursuit of the next big idea.
  • And, yes, my dad even has the tendency to micro-manage in order to ensure perfection. All of you small business owners out there know, deep down, that you have a micro-managing spirit. It’s the sense of pride and attention to detail that has allowed you to become successful in the first place. But be careful. Often it is better to delegate decisions that are outside your area of expertise.

So, I dedicate this Father’s Day post to my dad and small business dads everywhere. (Don’t fret, small business moms. You’ll have a turn next Mother’s Day)