Nearly half of all American businesses fail in the first two years of startup (Campbell). So why work for a supposedly less ‘stable’ small business when you could work for a more ‘stable’ large business? Why shop at a smaller store with potentially higher prices, when you could potentially save some money at a larger chain store? Although prices at a local retailer may be higher, the benefits of shopping there as opposed to a large chain store outweigh this detraction because of better quality service and higher quality products.
In recent times smaller companies have been having a harder time keeping up and running, largely because they just can’t keep up with large chain stores often putting their entire stores on clearance. Many big box retailers went into full clearance mode during this past Christmas season (Hurlburt). However, these clearance sales can’t last forever. Another factor of these clearances is that large chain stores are clearly not making nearly as much profit per sale as the smaller retailers are (therefore the employees are potentially paid less, according to various possible circumstances). Unless, however, the quantity of products sold yield enough profit to keep that pay at its usual level. Therefore, something that comes with these sales is higher quantity, this higher quantity yields more profit. This can tend to even itself out. Higher prices yield fewer sales, while lower prices tend to yield more sales.
Small or independent retailers simply can no longer compete with sales prices. As online shopping allows easy comparison of branded goods, and as EBay allows more focused niches. Small and independent retailers need something different, something other than an advantage in price. “The Internet is a great provider of product information, but it can never replicate the value of a customer’s interaction with a highly knowledgeable salesperson.” (Hurlburt). This is largely what separates the small or independent retailers from the rest of the pack. This salesperson can also demonstrate or allow the customer to test out a certain product or service. Reading on the internet could provide a recommendation to a general audience of people, but a highly knowledgeable salesperson can recommend a specific product tailored to an individual customer’s needs.
People want to obtain things easily, as outlined by staple’s easy button. They want compelling presentations, and captivating experiences. They want to be entertained, and for their senses to be driven. These are all things that a convenient, small retailer can provide. In a smaller store, employees are more easily accessed, and products are more easily found, however, this also leads to less products being available.
Smaller stores often offer a tighter niche. They offer fewer genres of products, but more products of one specific genre. These stores appeal and build around the customer for whom price is not as much of an object. These customers can be more ‘picky’ but they are customers none the less.
In the end however, the one thing you cannot forget is your family, your personal life. Your life comes before your business, you wouldn’t want to miss your son or daughter’s childhood, lose relationships with your friends, or for your relationship with your spouse to ‘decompose’ over time. A man who lives and loves his family or his life is a happy worker, he has friends at the small business he works for, and he has support from them. If complementing groups of workers (i.e. customer service and product development, etc.) are set to work together, natural leaders will emerge. These groups of happy workers will work well together, and will drive the customer’s emotion, giving them the captivating experience that keeps the customers attracted to the uniquity of small businesses.