Whether you’re flipping through the weekly flyers over your morning coffee or driving down your local Main Street during rush hour, it’s hard to ignore the bargains and blowout sales at all the big box retail outlets. As an independent retailer, the constant reminder that you’re competing with the “big guys” can be a tad daunting. Being the David to the retail industry’s Goliaths, however, can have its benefits. And whether or not you know it, you’re applying them every time you flick on the OPEN sign and unlock the doors to your store.
Fewer customers = better customer service
As an independent retailer, your highest priority is maintaining the happiness and satisfaction of your customers. Whether they’re regulars or first-timers, building rapport and offering your undivided attention and personable service will ensure they leave your store with the confidence they made the right purchases. And it will likely keep them coming back.
One thing that all the big box stores have in common is their predictable – and often boring – mass-produced product lines. As an independent retailer, you have the benefit of researching and handpicking higher quality products and introducing them to your customers.
No red tape
The only rule for running an independent retail store is that there are no rules. Instead of answering to a bigwig you and your customers will never meet, you answer only to yourself. You get to harness your creativity, make your own hours, set your own prices and employ your own marketing plan. When it comes to meeting the needs of your customers, freedom and flexibility are priceless resources.
You’re making a difference
By owning your own business, you’re doing the community a public service. Not only do you provide people with the products they need and want, but you create local jobs and bolster the local economy. Given the choice, people would rather support a local retailer than a CEO with five homes and a personal jet. Embrace that as an opportunity to attract – and keep – customers.
You’re the best person for the job
Let’s be honest. Chances are you didn’t start your business for the money. You built it from the ground up because of your passion for paint, design and home decor. At big box stores, employees don’t have a vested interest beyond their next paycheque. You do it because it’s your livelihood and one of your true loves.
By owning and operating an independent retail store, you’re doing more than selling products. You’re connecting with your customers and community in ways the big guys ever can. As the saying goes, “it’s better to be great at one thing than good at several.” And when you harness these advantages, your customers will always come back for more.