With the seismic events of the past week still dominating the headlines, our last blog post on the benefits of doing business locally seems to be more pertinent than ever. As the big corporates threaten to quit Britain and relocate jobs elsewhere, using local companies for your UK business could help to improve your business’s efficiency and help our economy. Yet it can be a difficult world out there for local businesses and we thought we’d take a look at just what challenges local business face.
It’s very easy for big business to get their name out there quickly – a well-placed billboard or TV advert can ensure exposure of their business to hundreds of thousands of potential customers. Small business do not have the budgets for this type of advertising, so often rely on word of mouth and, these days, social media. Of course, when you are reliant on word of mouth that means that every client matters, the end result of which should ensure excellent customer service and a well-produced product.
We’ve mentioned budgeting previously and pricing is the area where small businesses find it hardest to compete. Larger companies can often negotiate huge discounts when bulk buying which simply isn’t possible for smaller businesses that potentially only have one location. This means that their price per unit is quite simply higher (read more expensive) than a larger company. However, in order to compensate for a more expensive price, small businesses will focus on the overall buyer experience which includes emphasising the strengths of its products and services.
Services and Products
Unfortunately the size and budget limitations of small businesses will impact on the services and products that they offer their customers. A small business is simply unable to offer the same range of products and services that a big corporate with multiple locations and customer base can. However, a smaller selection of products and services can very often be balanced out with the convenience of dealing with a business a short walk or drive away. Almost certainly you will be introduced to a personal contact (with a name!) which could put paid to any holding on the phone to a call centre when or if problems arise.
We do understand in today’s climate that budgets are more important than ever, however we do believe that the benefits of doing business locally very definitely outweigh the negatives. We hope we’ve provided some food for thought, and as always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter!