Good morning friends! I hope this Saturday finds you well and content with life!
As I sit here this morning at my Boutique (Missing Piece Boutique) watching cars go by I ponder. How many of these cars driving right by me are heading to a big box store? Now don't get me wrong, there are times that I myself go to these stores. Not often, but at times. And I used to ONLY go to those places. Because I was uneducated on what effect it had on the small businesses in the area. And to be quite honest, I was more concerned with the effect it had on me and my pocketbook. THEN I became one of those small businesses.
So...why should consumers shop with small businesses when it may cost them more money? And they most likely won't be able to get EVERYTHING they need with just one stop. I mean one stop shopping at cheaper prices is what everyone wants right? And should we even worry about those small businesses?
The thing is, as a society we have lost the connections to other people that we used to have. If you were to ask someone why they bank where they do, most people, myself included, would say it's because of how they are treated by the employees. "They know my name when I walk in the door." "They treat me like a friend/family member and not just a customer." And those are all phenomenal reasons to take your business to them.
Did you know that most small businesses do the same thing. Now I'm not saying that I remember every customer's name the instant they walk in my store. But I try. I do remember their stories. I do my best to remember what they like and don't like. I make every shopping experience with me pleasant and hopefully memorable for the friends (that's customers for my first-time readers) that choose to do business with me. You see, big box stores serve a purpose, but they don't necessarily serve their customers. Whereas a small business will bend over backwards to make sure your needs are met. When I have someone ask me if I carry a particular item, I will move heaven and earth to find that item and make sure I have it for next time they come in if at all possible. I'm not just about making the sale either. If I see that you appear to be having a bad day, we can just talk. I have a chair for customers where they are welcome to sit, gather themselves and then carry on with their day. No purchase necessary.
Connections! We are desperately missing the connections we used to have. And I'm sorry to burst your bubble, but you will not find those connections at a big chain store. And if they don't have what you want/need, well too bad so sad. And many of them don't even have the interaction of cashiers anymore. They are going to all self-checkouts.
Did you notice? I haven't even mentioned the monetary benefits to shopping with a small business...because while the money is important and seriously helps the family that owns that business, it's not the whole story. And thus, I will save that conversation for another day. Until then, I implore you to give your local small businesses a chance. When friends walk into our stores it makes our day. Just the fact that you chose to spend a part of your day with us brightens our day tremendously!
Until next time I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your day and an even better tomorrow!!