Do we really need small businesses?
This weeks blog looks at the importance of small businesses and what they offer to people and the economy.
For this weeks blog I have taken information from several sources including The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Mail, smallbusiness.co.uk and the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses).
Ok, so first the really boring stuff. Spending in local small businesses will boost your local economy. How it works is a customer comes into Winstons and buys a pair of jeans. This is great. I then take the profit from that sale and buy lunch in a local independent restaurant. This restaurant then takes the profit from this sale and buys ingredients from a local independent fruit and veg supplier. This fruit and veg supplier then takes their profit and uses it to service one of their delivery vans with a local garage, and so on and so on. All of a sudden, this initial sale in Winstons has impacted on serval other shops and services in the city. What happens when money is spent in a large chain store? The profit from this sale leaves the city and goes to a head office meaning it leaves the local economy and doesn’t support other businesses and services. Nuff said for now.
Second point. A lot of time the small indies sell more unusual products and brands. Big chains will mostly sell generic mass made products than can be bought in anyone of their stores over the country. Shops like Winstons want to find the unique brands and products that can’t be found anywhere else. We currently sell three brands that only one other shop in the UK sells, plus we also produce our own range which no one else sells. This means we can offer something to our customers that no one else can. This is something that restaurants do very well by using locally sourced products and suppliers. Big chain restaurants are often looking to sell the exact same product across all of their outlets all year round meaning a lot of their menu is pre-made and frozen and very rarely using a local supplier.
Another point. You will get a personal touch. A small business should value every customer as every single sale is so important to a small indie. We want you to be happy and we want you come back, because of this we will try to offer the very best service. A big store just can’t offer the same service as the amount of customers they have compared to staff levels means it’s nearly impossible. I am not saying a larger business doesn’t care but they just can’t offer the same personal touch as we can.
Lastly you will be supporting British entrepreneurs. Just last month a new clothing shop opened around the corner from Winstons. The owner started out by selling his own brand on market stalls and festivals, he has now grown and opened his first shop. It provides a living for himself and he employs two local people as well as using local manufacturers to make the items. As his business grows he may well start to employ more people and even open a second shop.
So in short, spend locally and your money will stay local and support your economy. Small businesses offer unique brands and products and hopefully great advice and a personal touch.
The final point I will make and for me is one of the most important, local businesses give your town its personality. If every town and city had the same shops and restaurants then they would lose a lot of their identity and reason for visiting them. How often have you been to a small village to find a lovely old family run pub, or sourced an indie coffee shop. Have you been to that special restaurant for an anniversary or bought a unique gift for someone’s Christmas present? These are the experiences that you remember and cherish, not the cappuccino you had in Starbucks last week.