Do you like Wal-Mart, Home Depot’s, or Costco?
If you’re like most of the 300+ million in the United States it’s probably a love/hate relationship. You certainly enjoy the benefit’s of these large outfits such as the discounted rates, one-stop shop, or better yet the possibility of job’s. So, why wouldn’t we all love these stores?
The resounding answer is: the destruction of small businesses. America’s business economy consist of 90%+ of small businesses and it still continues to be sustained by “small-mart’s”, but this doesn’t mean these companies are unfazed. As these big box stores tend to cluster within our local economies, many “family, owned, and operated” businesses see their market shares dwindle. Does your company have less than 100 employees? There’s a strong possibility you’re facing dillema or consistantly running against these behemouth stores or maybe Amazon’s platform is disrupting your book of business. The good new’s is that people still enjoy small businesses and even more so are requesting it.
Face it, PEOPLE STILL WANT SMALL MART’S! In recent years there’s been an ever-increasing trend of local farmer’s market, desire for quality good’s, and most importantly intentional customer service companies that thrive in local communities. Today’s tool’s (social media, web platform’s, freelance) help these top-tier local companies grow/scale stand out. In addition, the cost to enter the marketplace is much easier for entrepreneurs.
We believe companies must maintain effective business development plans to stay competitive while avoiding complacency, but you local’s have a responsibility as well. If every local citizen spent $100 monthly of their hard-earned money, whether that be locally at a restaurant, family grocery store, or “Joe’s Home-good’s” this would significantly enhance the local economy. Let’s say Bob’s town has a population of 10,000 and 7,000 are adult’s (4,500 are working individuals). Those 4,500 individuals intend on spending $1,200 of discretionary income a year = $5,400,000 million dollar back in Bob’s friendly neighborhood. $5,400,000 of revenue will trickle to the local worker’s, manufacturers, and tax dollars. A recent study re-solidifies the importance of this new trend, by showing only 14% of revenue actually stays when you purchase items through a major chain! (http://www.amiba.net/resources/multiplier-effect/)
So why is this important? Specifically, in our industry (home restoration), we’ve noticed a two-fold trend individual’s purchasing from large box store’s or hiring a fly by night exterior company. If you felt more comfortable with those service companies or their representatives than the local service provider, I understand. That’s why it’s vital for small businesses to hone their craft with the intent of improving their communities (that’s our responsibility and loss)! However, it’s a disservice to the community when you don’t consider the local roofer compared to the clean-cut man from Texas in a large monster truck, who came knocking. The only thing that Texan is doing is steam rolling the economy at the nearby gas station. We always recommend asking the question “how long will you be calling ______ home?” This provides you an overall insight if that companies workmanship warranty means anything at all or will stand by it.
Support is on the way
The historical shopping calendar of “black Friday”, “cyber Monday’s”, and others have now realized the void for local businesses. The economy is starting to participate and have even created “Small Business Saturdays” (https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-initiatives/small-business-saturday) during the week of Thanksgiving.
Other way’s to support:
- Partake in a local coupon/golden book fundraiser (Coupons for local businesses restaurants, etc)
- Use the local grocery store for your necessities (eggs, milk, paper towels)
- If you had a great experience with a local vendor SHARE IT. Word of mouth and support is a fantastic way to showcase the area’s talented service providers
- If you had a poor experience ask to speak with the owner of the company. You are much more likely to speak directly with the owner instead of a 3rd-Party customer service staff in Kuwait.
- A large renovation project coming up then ask for 2 bids from local companies and the 3rd from the fly by night.
- Review the Better Business Bureau