I love to support small businesses whenever I can. And guess what? So do a lot of other folks! That’s why more and more mom and pop shops are finding ways to compete in the Amazon era, carving out specialties and creating customer experiences that the big guys just can’t copy.
Mom and pops have a built-in advantage that simply can’t be replicated by larger companies.
The mom and pops have a built-in advantage that simply can’t be replicated by larger companies, especially when it comes to the needs of today’s consumers. For example:
- Small businesses are more agile. They can change with the times much more easily than large corporations because they don’t have layers of bureaucracy to slow them down.
- Small businesses are more flexible. They can be nimbler in how they respond to their customers’ needs and demands, making them more flexible than their larger counterparts who may have trouble adapting quickly enough for today’s market conditions.
- Small businesses are more personal; there’s less red tape between customers and employees at smaller establishments so you’re not going through layers upon layers of corporate chatter before reaching someone who actually cares about your problem or concern—and even better—can do something about it!
- Small businesses are accountable for their actions because there isn’t an army of attorneys standing behind them if something goes wrong (which saves you money!). You know exactly who is responsible when things go wrong at small establishments…that person tends being named after either “Mom” or “Pop”. And guess what? Mom & Pop care! They want you as a customer so they’ll work hard at making sure everything works right; maybe even working extra hours themselves until everything gets back on track again.”
Big business is impersonal. Mom and pops are personal.
Mom and pops are more likely to be in the same community for a long time. They’re invested in their communities, and they want to help support local businesses. Big business is impersonal by definition—they don’t have the time or resources to care about your preferences as an individual customer, because they’re too busy doing what’s best for their bottom line (which makes them very effective at selling you products).
In other words: mom and pops strike back!
Locals tend to support locals and local businesses more so than big companies coming in from out of town.
Locals tend to support locals and local businesses more so than big companies coming in from out of town. In fact, people want to feel that they are supporting their community when they shop, eat or drink.
This is evident with the rise of mom-and-pop shops throughout the country. Small businesses like these exist at a higher rate in cities and towns where there is an abundance of locally owned restaurants and retail stores than there are chains.
“We’re seeing this trend all over,” said Michael Lynn, professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration. “People want to get back out on Main Street.”
Customers want to feel that they’re supporting their community when they shop.
The mom and pops strike back!
Diane von Furstenberg came out with a new line of shoes. They’re cool, they’re comfortable and they’re trendy. It was hard to resist buying them, but when I saw that they were $200 more than in stores like Zara and H&M — where I had already been shopping — it was easier to resist.
I love supporting small businesses because there is a sense of community pride in buying from local businesses. People want to support their community when they shop at smaller stores because they know that their money is going back into the community instead of into large corporations or overseas manufacturing companies that have horrible working conditions for workers and terrible environmental practices as well as questionable labor practices here in the U.S..
There’s an expectation the relationships between small business owners and vendors should be based on personal connections, not dollars and cents.
There’s an expectation the relationships between small business owners and vendors should be based on personal connections, not dollars and cents. When you walk into a mom-and-pop shop, you expect to get a friendly greeting from the owner or manager. You expect that if your car breaks down, they will help you find a tow truck or bring in their own tow truck to help out. You may even enjoy having coffee with them in their office some morning before work for no other reason than to catch up on neighborhood news and gossip.
In fact, these relationships are so important that there are many businesses who have been able to grow despite higher costs because they have invested so much time building personal rapport with their customers (as well as other local businesses). But what happens when online shopping becomes more popular? Can these small businesses survive?
Care for the community beyond the transaction.
- Local businesses are more likely to give back to the community.
- Local businesses are more likely to be involved in the community.
- Local businesses are more likely to support local events.
- Local businesses are more likely to be involved in local charities and causes.
- If you want to get involved with your community through volunteering, look at a small business first for an opportunity that fits your schedule and interests!
Even in the Amazon era, small businesses can find ways to thrive and outlast the big guys
It’s true that in the Amazon era, big companies are able to operate at a scale and volume that small businesses can’t match. But this isn’t to say that all small businesses are doomed to fail. In fact, there are many ways in which your little mom and pop store can outlast the big guys
- Small businesses can compete with big companies by providing a better customer experience. It’s hard for a customer service representative at Best Buy or Walmart to provide a personal touch when they’re dealing with hundreds of customers per hour—but it’s not so hard for the owner of your local hardware store or dry cleaner’s shop. A small business owner is able to spend time getting to know their customers’ names and needs, because there aren’t thousands more waiting behind them! This means they’re more likely than anyone else out there who works in retail sales positions
As you can see, the mom and pop movement has taken off in recent years. Customers are no longer willing to sacrifice their experience or community support for convenience sake. They want businesses that they can count on to provide a personal experience and be there when needed.
If your business offers these qualities it is likely here to stay!