So, this trend in myself (Julie) is still quite the work in progress, but lately I’ve felt more inclined with buying from locally-owned small businesses.
Let me start at the beginning. My parents owned and then operated their own ship modeling magazine business while I was growing up. I saw how much work they put into making it succeed. I graduated with my BA so I was exposed to “behind-the-scenes” of large corporations and wasn’t too thrilled at what I saw. I currently work for my brother-in-law’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning business, and Rob and I have a photography start-up of our own. With my personal experience being involved in these, I’ve seen first-hand how great small businesses are.
As far as I can tell, most small businesses are the same in regard to:
1-The business is usually opened as an extension of the entrepreneur’s passion. They love what they do. It’s not just their job, it’s their life.
2-These people invest so much of their own time, money, and HEART into their business in order to make it succeed.
3-They really, really want people to be happy with their product or service and they’ll do just about anything within their power to make it happen.
4-Many times, the quality is much higher than mass-produced goods and services. The owner’s are usually on the front line themselves; therefore, they’re able to see first-hand what the customers’ needs are and the best way to obtain his or her satisfaction. Attention and care is placed into each customer and each order.
5-In many cases, the higher quality, handmade/handgrown good or service is the same price, if not less expensive, than the large company’s. With overhead being much lower (and the small business owner being less greedy) it’s easy to keep the price fair.
Just to be sure you don’t misunderstand my intentions, it’s not like I don’t shop at Walmart or any other big box store. Sometimes the selection and price just can’t be beat. But sometimes it can.
I want to pursue shopping locally more because I like what it stands for. Supporting good people for their good work is a good thing.
Here is a link to the 3/50 project. It’s super short, interesting, and helps drive my points home. “Pick 3. Spend 50. Save your local economy.” Thanks, Savannah, for sending this to me.
Now, I want to hear from all of you who own a small business, work for a small business, just do a hobby for a little money on the side, or know someone who does. Some of you run a preschool, some do accounting, some are photographers, some make wedding cakes, some do hair, some are mechanics, some sew, some are graphic designers, and some are various consultants. I’d love you to leave a comment with who you are and what you do. Maybe, if you want, I’ll feature you in an upcoming blog post, PLUS, you may find me using your services. I’d rather give my money to a friend than to an impersonal corporation.