Monday, December 7, 2015

The benefits of shopping small and local

SHERYL AND I watched a show on PBS Sunday morning called Growing a Greener World about an independent garden center in Austin, Texas. The owner explained how the big box retail outlets are the main competition, how they have a financial advantage and how his business counters.

The video is HERE, start watching at 12:30 thru 14:30 to get the meat of the message. It can be impossible to compete against businesses that have such huge financial competitive advantages. We encourage everyone to shop their local independent small businesses.

Just like an independent music store, the independent garden center has knowledge specific to its customers. Their prices might not be quite as low, but his business thrives because of dedicated employees and the extra services his store provides. It's more than just a place to buy plant stuff - customers get information, advice and encouragement. The store offers free clinics, seminars and displays to explain how easy and fun it is to work with plants.

We draw a lot of the same conclusions. Our main competition is online, so we try our best to remain competitive in price, but offer more. Sheryl and I have specialized knowledge that you can't find easily on the internet. We work with our products intimately and can help you make your purchase decision. We also give free support for our products that you buy from us.

You can't try out a guitar online. To us, that's the bottom line. Plus you will be greeted when you walk in the door and you won't have to fight through massive store traffic or wait long to be checked out. You can ask real questions to a real human being. And you can feel good about supporting a local independent small business. In turn, we do the same thing - in the space of a week, I purchased a watch, shoes and a winter jacket from my favorite local stores. All are owned by people I know and trust.

It makes a big difference.

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