SOMETIMES IT’S GOOD TO BE SMALL
By Ralph E. Wolff, Jersey Coast Appliance
Proud to be a GTRCC member.
Whether you are a one person shop working out of your home or large enough to have a brick and mortar location, it is sometimes good to be small.
Small as you know is a subjective word and your definition may differ from Webster’s. Webster defines small as “having comparatively little size.” Or minor in influence, power or rank”. Some feel that small is a disadvantage when it comes to influence but it might just be what we need to survive.
A small business is personal. Many customers are starving for businesses that allow them to connect to something beyond the products and services they offer. A small business has a story to tell and one that most customers can relate to. Everyone loves a story and especially one that is honest and heartfelt. How did you start your business? I’ll bet that many can say that their dad or mom or someone in the family taught them the ropes and then they took over from there. What a wonderful story, a family tradition. It’s something to be proud of. A story to tell and an envy of many who face the daily corporate grind.
Small businesses often gamer support from their communities and become very involved in community events. They support various churches, food banks and other community non-profits. These businesses lead with purpose and intentionality and attract customer who are drawn to or have an affinity to companies who give back to the community. Our country needs businesses with high moral fiber and customers are willing to support them.
An extremely important advantage to being small is that you are in a better position to provide a more personal service to your customers. Customers trust businesses that offer them sincere personal attention, and they respond well to businesses that know their names and remember details about former transactions. Remember the theme song from Cheers?
Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you got
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot
Wouldn’t you like to get away
Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name
Customers are proud to tell their friends and family that they have been doing business with your company for so many years and tell of their positive experiences, whereas a larger company may be less likely to care.
A small business will usually have a faster response time to address their customer’s needs. When it comes to customer problems, a small business is more likely to resolve issues rather than let it fester because the owner will know sooner and take action. Without a lengthy chain of command and complex bureaucracies, your responses are immediate and satisfying to your customers.
Economic conditions are constantly changing. The cost of utilities, fuel, health insurance, labor and the like are always in flux. The underlying cost of doing business is affected by the economy and large companies are very slow to react to these changing conditions resulting in loss of profits. An astute small business owner can make economic adjustments almost immediately, resulting in sustained profits and a happier balance sheet.
A small business will put together a network of strategic partners who are ready to meet the needs of his clients. The strategic partnership concept is not new but it does create a higher level of credibility for the small business and its strategic partners. It also helps keep the customer from venturing outside of your profit circle.
And finally, smart small business owners know that while the entrepreneurial fever that promises wealth and independence, does not mean they are truly independent. What it means is that while being independent, they are still dependent on the help of other entities in order to succeed. One of those entities is their local Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce provides opportunities to network and grow your small business. They provide business connections to exchange ideas, economic innovation to help build commerce within the community, government relations and community relations providing a link to our community non-profits and local educational institutions.
The Chamber offers you opportunities and the collective influence that you, as a small business owner, may be lacking. Just by the virtue of your membership the Chamber extends its credibility to you and your small business. So while you should be very proud that you are an independent small business, don’t forget to enjoy the benefits that The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce offers you. And don’t forget the old saying “you reap what you sow”.