There’s nothing quite like a small local business to keep the ball rolling and the high end retailers on their toes. Small companies have many great attributes that have kept them in pretty good stead for years, sometimes generations. Prime examples include the likes of Globoforce, CrowdCube and The Cambridge Satchel Company who have all found great success despite their size. Here we take a closer look at some of the key reasons why small businesses will always grace out high streets.
1 – Competitive Prices
You will always be in direct competition with all the big boys because everyone has the same main goal in mind – make as much profit as you can, so what many small companies try and do it to stock some of the more popular items for a fraction of the price. This is common for several items, including items of day to day use such as make-up and milk. Because of all the recent unemployment and the like everyone is looking after the pennies more, and will always surf around for the best possible price for certain items both in shops and online. This is, however, a long term solution for many small firms as noticeable profits may not be seen for some months depending on the product.
2 – Local Recognition
We all know a guy that knows a guy. Well, small businesses are of a similar vein. This is the usual case when it comes to homely businesses such as butchers or florists. They as a collective become one of the locals themselves, and thus can gain local fame and respect. Local recognition, unlike all the big branding that some retailers get, is likely to yield more loyal customers, especially if you’re doing a fine job of it. Small businesses have quite the knack for building a great rapport with the people who walk through their doors. Not only this, the best reviews you can get are usually through that wonderful thing called the grapevine.
3 – Great Customer Service
You may find that some bigger shops on the market can lack a little humanity. Their staff members are usually too busy keeping things above water to pay attention to the customer’s specific needs. This has certainly been the case for many big time businesses such as Vodafone, Aldi and Ryan Air who have all had their fair share of complaints. When your business is smaller, however, it tends to be easier to talk to your visitors on a more one to one basis due to the lower number of people to attend to. This is not only great for the customer in terms of importance and understanding, but it’s also great for the business as you may get a glittering recommendation or even some vital feedback if you have enough charm and empathy.
4 – No Mainstream Nonsense
You may not be as big as Coca Cola or Microsoft, but at least you don’t have the hassle of branding such a huge company! All the biggest high street businesses have a lot to deal with in terms of both branding and consumerism, and even have dedicated departments for such ventures. Debenhams alone has one of the biggest advertising departments in the country. Small businesses are much easier to brand not only because of their petite size but also because of their individual taste and personality that draws new customers in. Just a simple poster in some key areas of your local town could sufficiently boost your foot flow and in turn your income.
5 – Cheap To Run
Obviously it’s not a bargain at first as you have many costs to consider from the cost of the premises itself to the stock you wish to sell, and so forth. Once you have all the vitals together and the foot flow is on an even keel you should find that most of the costs cover themselves. Just as long as everything is priced strategically and the shop itself is made to look interesting or perhaps curious then the ball should roll at a reasonably steady pace. Many argue that businesses, no matter what their size, still cost almost as much as large companies because of the likes of fixed bills and minimal shifts in product pricing. The point is not how cheap everything is from day one however, the point is how cheap it all is in the long run.
6 – Turn A Quicker Profit
When a big company wants to promote a new product, they usually spend out a lot of money to advertise it in various ways. This can be anything from a custom display to a full blown television advert. Many brands are successful in shifting high priced so so products purely from their flawless advertising. A smaller company can get away with a more scaled down campaign as not only are the quantities of stock much smaller but a small scale business can afford to make a smaller profit and still have their head held high. If Cadbury’s only made 5p for every bar of chocolate they made they would be in a bad place, whereas if a local book shop made 5p for every children’s book they sold they wouldn’t be that downhearted.
7 – Great Family Project
It’s not at all uncommon to see a few small businesses that are run by families. Small family run companies tend to do quite well for themselves, and it’s a great motivator in terms of making money and challenging each other. Some great examples of this include various local barbers and a few cafes and diners. Admittedly it’s not for everyone as some family members can clash a little, and it’s thought that some family businesses have a short shelf life due to high levels of tension, but if you all get along, keep your heads down and remember to smile then there’s no reason why you wouldn’t be around for years to come. If Johnson & Johnson could do it, anyone can!
8 – One Of A Kind
Because there are already a lot of large commercial businesses that sell certain items some choose not to compete at all, and instead make an idea of their very own. It could be something as simple as a vegan café to something very niche specific like a balloon shop. Brighton and Camden are especially known for having very unique shops and stalls. As questionably quirky as some of these places are, they will always be recognized for their unique way of doing business, thus creating more interest and perhaps even more customers. Not only this, but if you recognize a demand for something that no one seems to be selling it’s possible you could make a handsome some for selling it.
Just because a business is small, doesn’t mean to say it can’t make an impression. All businesses had to start from the bottom up, so small companies are essential in determining who will progress to higher things and who will stay slow and steady. For more information about small businesses and to see what it takes to run one simply have a look around online for more details.
Charlotte Smith is a writer and researcher for Daltons Business. She has covered many topics in the past, and has a soft spot for small businesses in particular. She believes that all businesses both great and small deserve a shot at international success as long as they have something the public wants or needs.
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