The other day, I was thinking about why I enjoy supporting local small businesses and why I have a general disdain for larger, corporate installations. It comes down to style, focus on customers and unique selling propositions. I’ll explain.
When I walk into a small business, I immediately take note of their style, flare and other visuals that tell me who they are and what they do. I also begin to take in their history and begin to develop a sense of historical value in their business. While you can’t judge a book by its cover, you can form opinions on a business by what’s on the walls.
I expect personalized service and great product. Small business owners often have the liberty to define their service and quality of product. I’m not looking for the best deal, rather the best quality. If we wanted the best deal on coffee, we would go to Dunkin Donuts or Circle K instead of that new entrepreneurial coffee shop down the street.
Personalized service means learning your customers names and interests and knowing them on a first-name basis. Great product means you’d make your presidential best in all your products, no half-assing it.
Underscoring all that, I expect to find a sense of pride on your business. For instance, keeping things clean and orderly; walk around and meet and greet the patrons and enjoy your product.
Finally, small businesses can easily become a social hub for their local community. While I don’t necessarily look for that, it is something that builds perceived value. If you can get a group of people flocking to your business, enjoying it and having a great time … the more the cash registers will ring.
That’s merely what I look for in a small business. What do you look for in a small business?