What is so special about a small business and why are we talking so much about small businesses?
- They are right across the street: Your corner store is right there. A hop, skip and jump and you can just about buy almost anything you need at the last minute. Whether it’s about serving last minute guests or whipping something up for your kids when they’re back from school, your neighborhood shop comes to the rescue. And many a time, they are right at the doorstep – for all those days when you don’t feel like taking your car out.
- They fulfill orders in a short time: When did you last need your shoe fixed or a minor alteration done on your shirt? Where did you have to go? Small businesses are so uniquely skilled in their tasks that they can quickly close orders.
- They know their neighborhood: A small business sees and experiences the buzz of the streets they inhabit. They know when people leave their homes for work, when children return from school, when the tired worker returns home. They know when they need to stock what. They can uniquely position themselves close to the bus-stop, or opposite an apartment block and even have offers for tea-time snacks for kids.
- They can personalize: A friend was once citing a story about a coffee store owner. He owned a small shop and catered to his regular customers just before rush hour started. Close to his store, the specialized coffee chains started opening up. Not one to be left behind, this owner also bought a coffee machine. He learnt how to froth milk and create patterns. He would use a different pattern every day and for every person. My friend recounted how she continued to go to this small open shop with limited seating just to receive her personalized milk-frothed coffee. There is a certain joy that comes from knowing that a product was custom made for you, simple as the product may be.
- The experience of shopping small: Bespoke is the new black. Small businesses have such unique offerings that can hardly be replicated. There is a certain satisfaction in knowing that we’ve been able to purchase something that’s a rare find.
- They can take orders over phone/ message: No matter how much we advance technologically, a call gets the job done faster. Simply call up your neighborhood store and enquire what product they have on hand and quickly close the order. Better yet, educate them to create a broadcast list on WhatsApp to update their regular customers on store timings, details of fresh stock and daily offers. I’ve done this with the grocer on my street and it’s worked wonders for
There are many more reasons to choose a small business - they resolve issues quickly, they give last minute discounts, there’s never a lack of face-to-face interaction. They bring about a certain charm to the whole shopping experience. And needless to say, our country is brimming with small business owners.
And most of all, as a shopper, I receive an inexplicable satisfaction from knowing I’ve contributed to helping out a small business.
About Author :
Tina Muthoot, Impact Director - RestartIndia