In the past 10 years we've well and truly seen the rise of the hipster entrepreneur. Personally, I love them. They bring some flair and attitude to the small business scene and in many ways, they've made it cool to be a business owner again.
In fact I think that we have a lot to thank hipsters for. They have changed a lot about the way we do business and the way we think about business. I think there are 7 specific reasons why we should be grateful to small business hipsters everywhere.
1. It's very cool to do one thing and do it really well
If you want to do nothing but sell great coffee or make a particular type of food or collect honey - and nothing else, that is now absolutely OK. In fact we love businesses that do one thing really well. Hipsters get this and they are very happy to find that one thing and do it better than anyone else.
2. We don't all have to be building an empire
For a while there it seemed that if you were in business and you didn't want to sell it for a billion dollars in a year you simply weren't trying hard enough. Now hipsters have helped us come to terms with the fact that not everyone wants to build an empire, but if you do, that's OK to. The bottom line, build the business you really want, not the kind of business that others expect you to.
3. People love personality
I think business was getting a little bland for a while. Everything was starting to look the same, like one big franchise. Hipsters have come along, covered in tattoos, beards and funky clothes, embracing their individuality and encouraging it with their staff. They have personality and they aren't afraid to use it. It just goes to show that customers want to do business with people who have personality, I know I do.
4. It's nice to do things that take time to get right
In a world that is obsessed with fast, a lot of hipster businesses are fighting back and taking the slow approach. They do things well, they don't advertise that they are the fastest, instead they actually say they do it right not fast, so if you want fast, go to a bland, faceless business.
5. People will pay for quality
I went into a barbershop in Sydney recently, a hipster haven, and they charged $75 for a shave. Now there was a time when I would have laughed, saying there is no way anyone would ever pay that kind of money for a simple shave. Of course it is far from a simple shave - and there is a line out the door, with people waiting up to an hour for a shave. People will pay for quality - hipsters are proving that in every industry.
6. It's nice to smile when you walk into a business
Every time I walk into a hipster run business I can't help but smile. They are having fun, they can have a conversation with you, they are proud of what they do and how they do it, they have a wonderful sense of team and they laugh a lot. Who doesn't want to buy from a business like this?
7. Hipsters have taught us to be fearless
With everything from food trucks, to mail order razor blades, hipsters are all about giving it a go. If it doesn't work, you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try the next idea. They don't spend years beating themselves up. They try new things, they love new ideas, the more innovative and off beat the better. They teach us to not be afraid of giving a business idea a go - but do it well, charge what you are worth and let your personality shine through.