Business Advice from the Women of The Scout Guide - "Put Your Heart in Your Mission!"

When you believe in what you do you’re not selling. You are simply putting your belief system into action and spreading your gospel.

We started The Scout Guide with a simple mission — to save small businesses. With the advent of the internet, and the behemoth Amazon.com, we started to see the hits small businesses were taking. The Scout Guide arose out of a desire for people to think before they buy, evaluating how their purchases affect those in their community.

Sure, it’s a lot easier to sit on your couch and buy a book online. But that simple act has a ripple effect in every town across America. Small business owners suffer, stores close, bucolic main streets with lovely shopping areas are boarded up, or big-box, antiseptic chain stores move in. The heart and soul of our community — and the people that give it life and color — fall away into the shadows.  

 photo from The Scout Guide

photo from The Scout Guide

In the beginning, The Scout Guide was a blog and developed into a print publication.  We wanted to introduce the public to the people and faces behind small businesses in our community.  But the medium of the blog — here today, gone tomorrow — didn't leave a lasting impression.

Our solution was to produce a beautiful coffee table-style reference book that people would take pride in and show off to their friends, a veritable brag book for the town, as a complement to our online lifestyle magazine. Most small business advertising was surrounded by bad news in the community — whether in the daily paper, alternative weekly or evening news — and we wanted to shift the dialogue and make this a happy story about our town. We also desired to lift the veil, showing that small business owners are so much more than a name or a logo.

 The Scout Guide | (from L to R) The Scout Guide Jackson Editor, Caroline King; Birmingham marketing owner, Bethany Haggard

The Scout Guide | (from L to R) The Scout Guide Jackson Editor, Caroline King; Birmingham marketing owner, Bethany Haggard

We strongly believe that if you understand someone's passion behind their business, you will be more likely to support them. As our brand evolved so did our mission, seeking to tell each business owner’s story and connecting people together to support one another.

From our first guide at our headquarters in Charlottesville, Virginia, The Scout Guide grew organically into 60 city guides across the country. We did very little recruiting, as our franchise owners sought us out after seeing the print publication in other cities and desiring to launch one in their city. Each one of our franchise owners are passionate about supporting local businesses and share the same mission; to connect people together in their community.

On this journey we’ve learned that with passion and a mission, the sky’s the limit. As The Scout Guide continues to expand throughout the country, not only are connections being made locally, they are also being made on a national level. Once someone connects with The Scout Guide they tend to seek them out in every city.

Seeing the gospel of local love spread coast to coast continues to inspire and affirm us every day.  


 Christy Ford + Susie Matheson | The Scout Guide co-founders

Christy Ford + Susie Matheson | The Scout Guide co-founders

About the Guide:

"The Scout Guide (TSG) is a publication dedicated to living beautifully, living well, and living like an insider—wherever you are."

About the Founders:

SUSIE MATHESON

What’s on your desk?
Current coffee, yesterdays coffee that I need to throw away, The Scout Guide from various cities, my husband’s current spread for TSG Charlottesville, Vol.8 (I would like to make some changes but he won’t let me).

Words to live by?
The golden rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

CHRISTY FORD

What’s on your desk?
Green tea, a jar of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, pictures of my family, a desk calendar, and a felt replica of our Brussels Griffon.

Words to live by?
“What you think, you become. What you feel, you attract. What you imagine, you create.” —Buddha

Connect with The Scout Guide online:

thescoutguide.com

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