​​Passionate About Supporting Small Businesses? Here’s How to Make It Your Next Career Move

November 2, 2021
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The best way to connect your entrepreneurial spirit to success is by building something you’re passionate about. From the get go, it’s all about finding that “why”. For us, it comes in the form of harnessing the power of community to forge connections.  We’re passionate about extending support to small business owners, and love nothing more than inspiring others to do the same. Community is the key to growth after all! 

Sound like something you’re aligned with? Then allow us to introduce you to The Scout Guide. Guided by the belief that small businesses are the cornerstones of our cities, The Scout Guide connects locals and visitors with community makers and industry experts across the country through an annual print guide and digital platform

Launched by creative powerhouses Susie Matheson and Christy Ford, The Scout Guide (TSG) began as a humble, locally focused website and city guide dedicated to Charlottesville, Virginia. Since its inception over ten years ago, TSG has become a franchise and expanded nationwide with owners in over 65 cities serving as lead curators, storytellers, and small business advocates. Always on the pulse, owners forge connections within their communities, energizing the discovery of local artists, artisans, and entrepreneurs which they highlight in a beautiful book of creative advertisements. Online, the stories of these small businesses and business owners—from architects, boutiques, and event planners to florists, interior decorators, medical professionals, and restaurateurs—come to life on a variety of platforms.  

Even with the most tenacious spirit, it can be daunting to launch a new business. But joining an established brand, backed by a strong and supportive team that aligns with your values is a powerful way to do it.  As your city’s lead editor, you’ll not only have the opportunity to work for yourself, but join a powerful network of women who work daily to support and elevate local small businesses. In just a few easy steps, interested owners can apply at any time to bring The Scout Guide to their city. 

In the spirit of mentorship (and inspiration!) we tapped three TSG editors to share some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs along with some stories of their own personal growth as an owner. Keep scrolling to read more about their journeys.

Interested in becoming an owner? Inquire here to share why you’re interested in bringing TSG to your city. 

Sarah Phillips, Alexandria, VA

Why did you want to bring TSG to your city?  

I took over as editor four years ago, so the book had already been established in Alexandria which made my transition a bit easier. I hit the ground running when I started and worked hard to elevate our social media and our editorial experience. I really wanted to share the new and exciting things going on in Alexandria and all the new blood that was making this city feel so alive. Over the years we’ve grown our social media over 10k followers while forming amazing relationships with new small business owners in the area. It’s been so rewarding watching these businesses grow and blossom over the years.

What’s your favorite part about forging relationships with small biz owners in your city?

I moved to Alexandria right around the same time that I took over as editor and I was shocked how fast I was welcomed into the community, both professionally and socially. It’s been such a pleasure to be able to work with so many talented makers and artisans and while I hope they’ve learned something from me and gained value from being a part of the TSG community it’s also been a wonderfully rewarding experience for me as well. I’ve made lifelong relationships I will always cherish.

What advice would you give to someone interested in owning a business?

As a Scout Guide editor you wear many hats. Sometimes you are a one-man show doing sales, producing/styling photoshoots, client management, social media manager, blogger, and community hype girl! But I learned that when I was able to bring on help that I was able to see the business grow and prosper even more. So don’t be afraid to expand your team, the right people will help you go even further!

What city should The Scout Guide expand to next?

Palm Springs, CA

Leigh Brown, Fort Worth, TX

How did you learn about The Scout Guide?  

It was in my hotel room at The Windsor Court in New Orleans!  My husband and I have always visited New Orleans pretty regularly and have our favorite spots to hit on every trip!  The Scout Guide presented so many *new* shops, restaurants, and places we had never heard about! The guide felt like the “inside scoop” and a personal introduction to the people behind the most special businesses in the city.   

What’s your favorite part about forging relationships with small biz owners in your city?

I am inspired every day by the people in our local business community.  There is so much talent here in Fort Worth – and it is a pleasure and an honor to be their marketing partner.

What have you learned about yourself through your work as an editor of The Scout Guide?

I have learned something new each and every year I have been involved with TSG. I am constantly inspired by Editors in other cities – and I love coming up with new ideas to make the most of the exposure for new and renewing members. 

What do you love most about your city? 

Fort Worth feels like the cool kid on the block in Texas.  It is growing so much and attracting such wonderful people starting with TCU – a fantastic University in the heart of our city.

Kaleigh Porcelli, Baton Rouge, LA

Why did you want to bring TSG to your city?

I experienced first hand how wonderful of a resource TSG is for residents. It was summer 2020 (aka the THICK of Covid) when I learned about the opportunity to become editor/owner of TSG here, but I figured it was the perfect opportunity to really encourage and support the wonderful small business community that exists in Baton Rouge.

What’s your favorite part about forging relationships with small biz owners in your city?

I’m always fascinated to hear each business’s “story.” It’s such an honor to share these unique stories with our audience.

What have you learned about yourself through your work as an owner of The Scout Guide?

After being a stay-at-home-mom for about 5 years, I was understandably nervous about returning to “work.” I quickly realized just how much I missed cultivating client relationships and using the creative side of my brain.

What do you love most about your city?

We moved to Baton Rouge 3 years ago, and within just a few months, my husband and I knew this is where we wanted to plant our family’s roots. There is an undeniable sense of community that exists in Baton Rouge. Not to mention the excellent shopping, food, and fun attractions, and traditions that happen throughout the year!

Ready to make The Scout Guide your next career move? Check out the 6-step process to ownership below, then share why your city is ready to be feature here!

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