As a business operator, you frequently do business with other companies. That forces you to make a decision. When you need something, you can go straight to a manufacturer or you can look to resale. Even with resale, you have options. You can go online, stick with a big-brand box store, or shop locally. Part of you might want to shop locally to feel good about supporting your community. It also benefits your local economy, and that can come back around to your business. What you might be overlooking is that local businesses can be the best option even without these considerations.
Price – There is a dangerous misconception that manufacturers can get you the best price on their equipment because you cut out the middleman. It sounds reasonable, but it simply isn’t true. The wholesale price is consistent for everyone, and the sales department or representative for a manufacturer still has overhead, and that leads to markups that are on par with any other reseller. Since overhead is the big enemy, the trail to the best price will often follow the businesses with the lowest overhead. Those are almost always local businesses. Smaller-scale operations just don’t have as many expenses, and that can come back to you in the form of lower pricing.
It goes farther. In order to compete with highly visible big box stores and manufacturers, local providers are often willing to sweeten a deal with extras. This can come in the form of discounted service options, a deal on your next purchase, and many other interesting ways that save you money beyond the initial price tag.
Loyalty – Local businesses have the freedom to express loyalty. If you’re a regular customer, you can virtually expect them to throw you a good deal at some point. Part of this is tied to their desire to keep your business, but some of it comes from the good relationship you build.
There’s another side to loyalty: employee loyalty for local businesses tends to run higher. This extends to local businesses retaining support staff for longer than their larger counterparts. If and when something goes wrong, it is typically the local business that can resolve your issue faster and more effectively.
Relationships – Fostering relationships with local businesses can do much so much. Just one good relationship can help you make contacts that lead to more local businesses. Over time, you can join or develop an entire coalition of businesses. This gives you the power to tackle issues that were previously out of reach. When things go right, you and your local contacts can work collectively with local government on issues like zoning or restrictive ordinances. You will also be a part of a chain of referrals that keep new business flowing. Few things in any industry are as powerful as relationships with other companies.
If you want to see how to experience the local advantages when it comes to your office technology, can contact us today. We’d be happy to welcome you to the inner circle.