I'm sure you've all heard the phrase "shop small" ~ as it's becoming a trendy catch phrase, but the REASONS why we should ALL be supporting small business are even more important to understand this movement. To be honest with you, small business is BIG business when it comes down to it. Financial and business analysts agree on this fact. In the United States alone, there are 28.2 million small businesses operating at this given moment. Upwards of 63% of new jobs created last year were derived from small business. Let me break this down for you, Small Business Keeps America RUNNING.
3/4 of the nation's businesses are "SELF EMPLOYED" type businesses. Being self employed is not such a rare thing anymore. Long gone are the days of the "company man" who often worked his entire professional/working life for ONE company. Can you imagine, at any given time 28.2 million people that had a dream, and acted upon it?! WHOA...
These numbers sound great, however, it's a sad fact that MOST small businesses only survive 5 years, at most. They usually go under, close or morph into something else within those 5 years. That's an alarming number, if you do the math:
- 28.2 million small businesses in the USA
- 50% go under in the first 5 years
- 14.1 million small businesses go the way of the buffalo on average between the 1st - 5th year.
That is a whole lot of dreams, goals, sweat equity and investments down the drain.
Why do half of these small businesses fail?
"When you consider how many small businesses surround you in your everyday lives, it is impressive to think about the amount of time, commitment and labor these hard working individuals contribute to make their businesses both come to life and stay alive. Yet, many Americans frequent chain stores without considering their local merchant or other small business options. Whether it's filling a prescription at a local pharmacy vs. Walgreens or picking up eggs and milk at a local corner store vs. your nearest Walmart, small businesses are too often overlooked for all the wrong reasons. Customers assume that pricing will automatically be higher at a small business vs. a corporate owned store, as well as they dismiss the perks that many small businesses offer such as customer care, inventory assortment and community support. However, did you know that many of these misconceptions about small businesses are just that... misconceptions?" -ForbesLet's talk about some of the misconceptions...
True or False: Stores do not control pricing of most products. Vendors do.
With some exceptions, stores primarily have no control over a product price but rather are provided a MSRP (Manufactured Suggested Retail Price) that tells them the price the product should be sold at. Over time, if the product doesn't sell or a store has a promotional event taking place, this price may be lowered. But generally speaking, vendors want their products sold at their suggested rate, therefore retailers are not encouraged to lower them unless it's discussed in advance - such as stores like Nordstrom do for their famous Anniversary Sale. Many small merchants, as well, also offer discounted items for special occasions - therefore not making this exclusive to big box stores. -ForbesTrue or False: Inventory is not always more easily available at big box stores
Smaller merchants have the same access to vendors as big box stores do, therefore if you need an item and it's not available in their store, it's likely they can get in touch with the vendor right away and try and order it for you right away. Of course, there are always exceptions, but most small store owners are eager to go above and beyond in their customer service support and this is just one way they can do so for their customers.
True or False: Customer service is more personalized, hands-on and noteworthy from smaller businesses.
Again, there are exceptions to every rule, but generally speaking you should expect that a smaller business will deliver stronger customer service. Their personal commitment to their business certainly helps in these efforts, but even from their collective team - no matter how small or large it is - typically stronger customer care is experienced. Among the reasons why is that they have a more hands-on role within the company, therefore building a stronger sense of care for the job they do. Additionally, smaller companies are more flexible in their customer support - with a willingness to bend rules if necessary (such as alter a return policy) or deliver VIP treatment when least expected (such as home delivery for a customer during a rain storm). While every business is different, what also makes customer care among small businesses more valuable is just that - being different.-Forbes
Author's Note: I can not tell you how much I ENJOY going the extra mile for all of my customers. It makes me feel good to be able to go above and beyond for my clientele. I KNOW if I give extra care to each order, and customer, they are more likely to tell their friends and family about my small business (Goosie Girl) . Word of mouth advertising is simply the BEST form of advertising for a business like mine.Soooo many handmade makers & designers put so much care and attention to their products, and many have had their customers as REPEAT customers for so long, they develop friendships with them outside of work.
True or False: Different types of products, unique styles and customizations are more likely through a small business than a large business.
Product diversity and options are often greater at small businesses vs. chain stores. Sure, a big box merchant may have a larger footprint in your local community, but that doesn't mean they have more variety to offer you. When you walk into a chain store, you know exactly what you will find. However, when you walk into a local business, you are often surprised by the inventory options. This is to a customer's advantage and is among the many reasons to frequent your local stores more often. And remember - just because a big box store is just that... bigger... doesn't mean they have more to offer. The assortment of inventory at big box store are just deeper, not more diverse. -Forbes
Where else but a small business which creates one of a kind, or small quantities of their products is it more possible to find something totally unique? We can tweak , personalize, and customize nearly anything you can imagine, it's just a matter of reaching out to the maker and ASKING. Our businesses depend on our abilities to offer awesome customer service, and willgness to give our clients what they're looking for. That is something a big box store CAN NOT and WILL NOT do.
The Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace is reeling with independent small business owners. We're a creative community, and we would like to ask for your support of our small businesses. The next time you're on an online shopping bender, or have a gift to buy, need something for a special occasion, we invite you to shop the Gypsy Spoonful Marketplace by Clicking HERE