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Thread: Supporting local business

  1. #1
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    Supporting local business

    I couple of months ago one of the local pet shops closed down. I really feel sorry for them, because besides competing with another pet shop in town – it also had to compete with a Spar, Pick n Pay, Checkers and a large hardware store. Obviously these larger stores do not keep the fish, birds and other live pets – just the constant sellers, the food, toys and health products. Because they are much bigger they have better prices – but without the live animals the market would get a whole lot smaller – and now there is one less supplier in town.

    This also happens with stationery – as the new year starts, every second shop is a stationer including places like clicks.

    It irks me that guys that should get their dues often don’t, the big boys jump in to take there cut.

  2. #2
    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Interesting point. The question is what can be done about it.

    We seem to live in a society that exists in the short term only. There is so little thought given to medium term consequences. And how do you regulate your way out of this sort of problem?
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Small shops need to think like "big" shops. Get every discount you can, forward order, early payment, quantity rebates - and look hard at alternative suppliers. Margins at the end of the day are very important - I do not do the largest supplier of rugby ball, balls because the margins are terrible. Rather look at suppliers that are not represented by the big chains - then there is no like for like price comparism.

    A loyalty scheme, all my regular fishing guys get 10% off.

    A huge thing, if you got the cash, is buying last years stock out of season. I do quite a bit of buying this way - I can put on very large mark -ups and still give the customer very good prices.

    Look out, and ask for clearance lists - often they might have broken size curves - but great margins if you can make it work.

    Small shops need well-trained, friendly staff - if you cannot beat them on price, beat them on service. People will not mind spending a couple of extra bucks knowing the money is going to you (hopefully you come off as a nice person!) instead of a faceless multi-store.

    If there is a problem with a product, sort it out ASAP – sometimes I have to take a hit and lose a few rand, but would rather do that than lose a customer – with in reason of course.

    And of course, know your customers. Always smile and have a chat with whoever walks in the door, treat everyone like your best customer.

    If possible support the local community – even if I cannot sponser a team, I give all local teams around 15-20% off equipment for team use.

  4. Thank given for this post:

    3x-a-d3-u5 (07-Mar-09), Dave A (07-Mar-09)

  5. #4
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    Nice thread. I fully agree with this:
    Get every discount you can, forward order, early payment, quantity rebates - and look hard at alternative suppliers.
    As said by some cliche artist, "Life is not a dress rehersal, its the real thing". So you need to make every opportunity count. Think its not possible? Look at any large corporation and you'll see some one who slaved away doing all they could to be successful. "Every discount counts" ®
    once there was a man. the end.

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    Gold Member garthu's Avatar
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    Haha - 3x, is the ® for real?
    Garth

    Electric fence Installation : www.midrand-electronics.co.za
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