Five mom & pop shops from TV and what we learned from them about business

Today is National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day. We thought we’d celebrate by reviewing our favorite small business owners from TV and what you can learn from them. Just like you, they spend countless hours nurturing and growing their businesses. But, like any mom and pop business owner, they wouldn’t have it any other way— they love what they do!

Olivia Pope & Associates, Scandal— Based on a real life strategic and crisis communications firm, this tight knit enterprise call themselves “Gladiators in Suits.” Their clients include some of the most powerful people in the world— lobbyists, senators and even the White House. By keeping her team lean and mean, owner Olivia offers her clients expertise, efficiency, and most important of all, discretion.

Business lesson learned: Don’t ever get sidelined by second-guessing and self-doubt. Confidence is key to earning and keeping your reputation— never let your clients see you sweat.

The Leftorium, The Simpsons— Springfield is home to a zillion mom and pop’s, but we have a soft spot for Ned Flander’s The Leftorium. Ned is the quintessential American entrepreneur; fed up with working for the man as a Big Pharma salesman, Ned invested his life savings into this retail spot that caters exclusively to left-handed people.

Business lesson learned: Don’t be afraid to do something different or specialize— you might get more market share if you don’t try to appeal to all of it.

The Luncheonette, Parenthood— We loved watching the Braverman brothers join forces to restore this legendary recording studio to its former glory. Crosby brought the musical chops while Adam handled the business end of things. Through the highs (Cee-Lo) and the lows (Oliver Rome, a fire), the brothers stood by each other and by their passion for music.

Business lesson learned: Know your strengths. If you love networking and helping clients, but cringe at the thought of managing schedules or inventory, consider bringing someone in for a few hours a week to oversee those tasks. Your contributions to your business should be positive ones— otherwise, why are you doing this?

Bob’s Burgers, Bob’s Burgers— Child labor laws aside, we love this Ocean Avenue burger joint. The family that grills together stays together and checking out Bob’s pun-y “Burger of the Day” keeps us watching this show and wishing it existed in real life. Sweet Home Avocado burger, Poblano Picasso burger, Hit Me With Your Best Shallot burger— yum!

Business lesson learned: We’re not sure who came up with “today’s special” or the “daily deal,” but they are geniuses. This marketing strategy is great for attracting new customers and rewarding loyal ones.

Rent-a-Swag, Parks & Recreation— Clothing a growing teen with killer fashion sense can get expensive— what’s a parent to do? Enter Tom Haverford’s brilliant business idea! The first of Tom’s businesses to gain traction, he eventually ended up selling out to a rival. But, the lessons he learned at Rent-a-Swag helped him open an even more successful mom and pop— Tom’s Bistro.

Business lesson learned: If at first you don't succeed: try, try again.