Updated: Jan 17
"I don’t think you’ll be able to compete with the big guys (on this one)."
It was the type of response that I wasn't expecting. A response that hit me square between the eyes and in my gut. I'm not quite sure why. I had been turned down on quotes before, but this time, maybe it was the way it was said, just got my head reeling and it got me to thinking. Was I trying to compete with the big guys? And the bigger question, did i want to.
I've always loved the underdog, whether that was in sports or business or even a mystery that gets solved "against all odds". The proverbial David versus Goliath story has always intrigued me. I mean, who doesn't love to hear about the little guy taking down the evil monopoly of a giant? The other side of the coin of course is about letting sleeping dogs lie. Or don't poke the bear or something to that sort with the implication that bad things will happen if you challenge the bigger person, company or even leader in the industry.
I'm not one of those people that generally initiates or instigates conflict. So as the operator of a small business, did I want to initiate a rivalry by purposely creating a situation where consumers had to choose between us and them? Yes, actually that's exactly what I wanted to do. Or at least I wanted people to stop and consider us before automatically going to them.
In an overly commoditized world, one can only survive through differentiation. Herein lies the advantage of local small business. That one comment by a potential customer I mentioned at the beginning made me realize that local businesses (at least ours anyway) has greater benefits than any online or big guy corporation. And these benefits differentiate us so much from them that the reality is they are unable to compete with us. Let me explain.
Buying local benefits you, the consumer. How? Because you help local businesses survive and when you buy local you are also helping your local community, city, and neighborhood thrive. I am a big believer in local businesses supporting local businesses.
Buying local, in many cases, can result in same day delivery. What?! I thought that was only through Amazon! Nope, I've being doing it long before Amazon introduced it. In fact, I've actually had customers wait as I created the product right in front of them. That's correct. You can watch me make the product for you. What big store lets you do that? You can't watch online stores make your products.
Also, we believe in face-to-face encounters. Real people buying from real people. You are not a number to us. Nor will you ever be. We believe in relationships and communication with our customers so that the products we create accurately align with their vision. So we always encourage you to stop by our shop and meet us and see our smiling faces. That's the type of differentiation that sets local businesses apart.
We are convenient. Our shop is close to you, right here in Lapel, Indiana. You won't have to go from shop to shop to find what you need, nor search online for hours. We value your time and pride ourselves on being a one stop shop.
Now that I've had my soap box moment about local businesses and in particular our local business. I do believe, as I'm sure you know by now, that I believe buying local is better in so many ways. But don't take my word for it. Shop local. Shop PrintWorksLapel and see for yourselves the benefits of supporting local businesses.
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