Based in Kutztown, Kim Davis owns two companies: Cynergy Associates Inc., which specializes in credit card processing and equipment, and KD Consulting LLC, which helps small businesses capitalize on ideas through two programs: BARK Solutions and FUNDologie. For more information, visit www.barksolutions.com.
What's your take on the local economy?
My belief is that small businesses are the backbone of our economy. If we strengthen our local businesses by building resilient communities, the less we'll have to rely on the government.
A trend that I've been researching is how communities are implementing new, sustainable strategies. There is a definite “Wall Street to Main Street” shift happening. It may not be apparent in our immediate community, but it is happening.
What issues are you most concerned about?
My main concern is educating individuals and communities on the importance of small businesses. Independent stores will never have the “big box” marketing budget, so getting the word out on how supporting local not only helps the smaller businesses but it also keeps dollars circulating within our own communities.
Big companies also realize the importance of the bricks and mortar stores. American Express launched Small Business Saturday a few years ago and Chase is running a Mission Main Street grant program.
How did you build a connection to the community?
My first connection in the community was volunteering through our town's Main Street revitalization group. I soon joined the local Chamber of Commerce and started meeting people through a larger network.
More recently, I've joined online groups that allow me to network nationally and internationally. Even though I'm connected worldwide, I personally still enjoy local connections the most.
What would you do to improve your business?
Two words: continued learning. An important part of being a business owner is learning how to better improve your products or services to meet the needs and wants of your customers. Whether that's attending industry trade shows, researching new trends, taking classes, participating in workshops or hiring a business coach. Continued learning (plus implementation) equals continued success.
Editor's note: On the Front Line appears periodically and offers insight on running a small business in the region. If you have a suggestion for a subject for “On the Front Line,” please email Bill Kline at firstname.lastname@example.org.