“Buy local” is a hot topic – with the seemingly unstoppable destructive force of the multi-nationals on local high streets and lack of governmental support, the task of saving local small businesses has been unceremoniously (and perhaps ironically) passed to us – small businesses.
Small businesses have been sending out an SOS for over 4 years yet when approached for reciprocal support the response can be somewhat muted. “You can support me but I can buy your product/service cheaper elsewhere”. Is this type of response justified? Does the fact that just because you are a small local business that your prospective customers should pay more for your product/service? The first lesson in business surely has to be “control your costs”. A business owner’s number one priority (especially during these testing times) is keeping their business alive. If that means outsourcing manufacture to India or buying from a large multi-national then so be it. After all; charity begins at home, right?
In order to play the “buy local” card you have to be competitive, you have to offer an advantage or an edge over the static and inflexible multi-nationals. It’s no good playing the sympathy card. My advice is this; offer good deals, offer flexible services and practice what you preach – I can promise you that the rewards will be worth it.