6 Reasons Why You Should Buy From a Small Business

I’m sure you’re beginning to read this article with one of three mindsets. You’re either looking for reasons to confirm what you believe (if you like supporting small businesses, or have one), you disagree with the title and are looking to argue, or you are genuinely interested and have no pre-conceived ideas. Let me just say this, I am going to make some major generalisations, because I have to with such a broad topic. Before you comment and complain that this is not always the case, you’re right. Not all small business owners are passionate, hard-working, honest individuals. Not all large business CEOs are money-hungry, dishonest, heartless individuals. Having said that, in general, there are some pros to buying from small businesses.

1. Passion. If the business owner (of any size business) started the company, chances are that they are passionate about their business. If someone has bought them out, and the business owner is merely financially interested, you may have a business who isn’t passionate. Even if the owner is, are you dealing with the owner? Take my business for example, I own it, and you deal with me. You get all the passion for my services in your product. If you deal with a large corporation, you end up getting the person with the least amount of passion, who has been trained to handle your call. That person has probably never even met the business owner, let alone share their passion.

2. Commitment. I hear often that you should buy from a large brand, as the small business may not be there in the morning. Really? So, we should rather buy from a known high street brand like Toys R Us because they will always be there. Oh, wait. Not only that, but larger businesses may end up hiding behind their terms and conditions and high-priced solicitors, so are you always guaranteed that they will fix something which needs to be fixed? Small business’s reputations are essential, so we are usually more committed than the big boys.

3. Contact. I touched on this in the first point. Contact a small business, and you may even speak to the owner. If not, you’ll speak to someone not far off the owner, who can at least get the owner on the phone. Surely this is better than speaking to someone who is possibly not even in the same country as the owner, who has no authority to do anything. Have you ever called Virgin and asked to speak to Richard Branson? I have, I’ll save you the time, it doesn’t work.

4. Quality. If you chat to just about any small business owner, we all tend to say the same thing. Under promise, over deliver. Our reputations are key. We often sacrifice the bottom line for keeping our clients happy. Do large businesses do that? They are often only interested in return on investment, profits and bonuses. They don’t care about your needs. Their adverts say they do, but that is just to get you to buy what they’re selling, but you knew that already. I know many small business owners (like myself) who genuinely care about their clients. Part of the reason why we started our business, is to help people in the field that we specialise in. We don’t have a clever marketing team to persuade you that we do, we genuinely do.

5. Personal service.  All four of the above combine to get you personal service. My whole reason for making bespoke spreadsheets, is to make something specifically for you. I talk to you, find out what you need to achieve, like many other small business owners. I don’t care what the last person in your industry bought, because you are a unique individual, and you may not do things like they did. Do you get the same service form a large business? If so, you will end up paying a huge premium for it. Next time you call one of your service providers, ask them if they can do a bespoke package for you and see what they say. If they do, you’ll pay more than is necessary, otherwise they’ll give you the options and you need to pick. Just like everyone else. If you want to speak to the decision-maker, and have them listen to you and provide something which is tailor-made for you, you’re probably going to have to go with a small business.

6. Where is your money going? I have heard this argument before, and it is right. When you pay a small business owner (especially a very small business owner), you are paying for their family. You are paying to improve the life of someone like you, usually in your local town. You are paying for a child to be fed, or a roof over someone’s head. When you buy from a large business, you are often paying for someone’s fifth super car, on some tropical island on the other side of the world. Yes, large businesses have employees, but if you think they’re getting a fair share of the money, you are sadly mistaken.

Anyhow, I’m sure there are more reasons why we should buy from small businesses, if you have any please comment on the social media post which lead you here. I have turned the comments off these posts, as they just attract loads of spam. If you disagree, I’d also like to hear your comments, but I am aware that I have made some generalisations. We’re all entitled to our opinions, but just be nice.

Richard