The Small Business Experience

A look down State Street, home to many small businesses in Redlands, Calif.

A look down State Street, home to many small businesses in Redlands, Calif.

Some of the menu items offered up by Pie Hole.

By Shamce Ahmad |Staff Writer|

Small businesses have been growing at an accelerated rate in recent times, but that isn’t to say that they do not encounter hardships. The issues that small businesses face have been a focus among local businesses.

Problems and obstacles plague the typical upstart businesses, but the good ones find ways to jump through these hoops.

Some of these problems include cash flow issues, retaining profitable customers, maintaining the balance of quality and cost growth, and fatigue.

Rick Anaya is the owner of Pie Hole, a Los Angeles-based pie shop. He says that for them, creating a price point that is both comfortable for them and customers tends to be an issue.

“You know, we use quality ingredients, and it costs to use high quality ingredients in your recipes,” said Anaya. “And because of that, we end up charging upwards of $5 or $6 per slice of pie at our shop, and sometimes the customers push back.”

With the small business expanding to locations in Yorba Linda and hopefully Redlands soon, it’s important to them to learn and lock down the dynamic of the price point competition sooner rather than later.

David Young is a business partner at Vinyl Records & Books, a vinyl shop located in Redlands, Calif. For his business, the most common problem would be the relationship within the financial complications within the system.

“Some of the sales tax payments that go back and forth between us and the state tend to be an issue considering they have made mistakes in the past,” said Young.

As far as having the financials to run a business, Rick Anaya said that it is one of the most important parts of starting up a business.

“The biggest mistake I see other start ups getting in trouble with is that they don’t have the funding to keep going,” said Anaya. “You have to go into it expecting to lose money, so be prepared and be professional,” he added.

Although money and sales tend to be the first problem that comes to mind, building a customer base tends to be a huge part of what makes Upscale Vapes a successful small business.

Clint Kemock, a manager at Redlands-based Upscale Vapes, tells us that establishing that personal touch with customers is a big reason why they have people coming back to them.

“Having these customers that we can identify with and build relationships with is one of the main virtues that we try to operate by, because these guys are family,” said Kemock. “When you start learning more about your customer base, you can tailor to their needs and help them out, which leads to a different source of advertising that doesn’t need to be paid for,” he added.

With all the hoops that a business partner must jump through the get the right flow going, a simple thing takes importance in the success of a business: tiredness and fatigue.

“Running around and getting the right products and making sure everyone is happy takes a huge toll out of you, and sometimes it’s hard not to let it affect your business,” said Kemock.

“The most important part of business in the end is to keep grinding and working hard, and with that you can do anything,” said Young.


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