Although this is a response to the Neuvation video posted here on March 14, which is related to my business directly, I believe it applies to all local businesses.
I want to start by saying the video is accurate. Now that you all know my
margins and those of my suppliers…awkwardness…(maybe it wasn’t such a well kept secret anyway). That said, there’s good deals to be had online. True, I’ve purchased them myself and still do. However, since becoming a local business owner there’s a bigger picture I’ve come to know. The biggest part is the fact that if I don’t support the local businesses they may not be there when I need them.
“So why spend more at your local business than you would online?”
-Who can give you better, faster, and in-person warranty service?
-Who can provide the final quality control before the product is in your hands?
-Who has the expertise to assemble the item you’re purchasing when
you may not know how, or have the tools?
-Who do you call to ask about problems or technical questions with the
items you own?
-Who do you go “up town” to, when you need that item now, not in 4 to 6
-Who can you shake hands with and feel like your dealing with someone
-Who might be waving as they walk past your house with their family, or are attending the same church, or have their kids in the same school, or bump into you at the mall, or are coming over for dinner, or will be riding bike next to you on Saturday mornings?
-Who’s more likely to give when you ask for money to support your
fundraiser, event, or club?
-Who pays local taxes (Who, together with you, payed for the schools your kids go/went to, or the streets and roads you ride that bike on?), employs locals (someone you know works locally), promotes your community, and other local businesses in your country, province, municipality, and town?
-Who would you like to see frequenting your (or your parent’s, friend’s, sibling’s, child’s) local business?
ANSWER: Your local business owners.
I’m grateful for local businesses like Shopper’s Drug Mart, Sobey’s,
and Safeway because they supported the Sandilands MTB race last year.
I’m grateful for Southeast home center when I need “that light bulb”
right away, and I can just run over there.
I’m grateful for Powerland, and E-bytes computers when my computer
needs fixing NOW and they’re just across or down the street.
I’m grateful for the SCU because they’re so close, convenient, and
get me lots of foot traffic.
I’m grateful for Friesen Machine when I need a stuck seatpost
removed by someone who will give a free smile with the deal. Pete’s “the man”.
I’m grateful for Access Mobility, Source for Sports, and others that
send customers my way when they don’t have “that part” in stock.
I’m grateful for all the local business owner’s I’ve come to know
because they all want me to make it and they prove it by shopping in my store too (and I try to practice what I preach by seeing these business
owners first, before I make that purchase online).
Most of all I’m grateful for my customers (including everyone from MIT) and hopefully I can “repay” them with the service that ONLY a local business can.
Don’t take my word for it: Call some of the major bike brands and ask why they ONLY sell through local bike shops and not online (most of them do not sell online).
Read this article: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/mountain_biking/53515/1
“What can we buy online with a clear conscience?”
In my opinion (whatever that’s worth): Hard to find used goods, new items not available locally, or things the local stores can’t come close to in price even after you give them a chance and you honestly can’t afford the difference. Or whatever your own conscience decides is OK.
Do you like to support the global economy? Buy these bikes online and I’ll be just as happy as if you bought from me: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/video/article300101.ece?vxChannel=World+News&vxClipId=2115_090116-09035MMV71061_TEN
Business is good thanks partly to all of you MIT riders. I will survive if
people buy online sometimes. I, like most bike shop owners have chosen this career not for financial wealth (that’s very rare for local bike shop owners despite those “outrageous” margins ;). I gladly took a large pay cut compared to the career I had before (and could still have), to do something I love. I’m not going to bite anyone’s head off for buying their bikes etc. from other places or online (trying to convince others to shop online may get you a nibble though;). I also don’t want any of you to be tormented by your conscience while riding your bike or bringing your bike in to me for repair if it was not bought locally (well, maybe a little?). I just needed to get that off my chest.
What are your thoughts? Am I out of line, missing the true big picture, or over sensitive?