I am a small business owner. I own a small tech company called Xinsto and we’re a managed services provider for other small businesses. One of my passions is encouraging people to shop small, shop local. However as much as I preach it and as much as people support the idea, not everyone follows through.
The importance of the local enconomy
One of the biggest factors overlooked is that when you shop local, use local vendors, you’re keeping your local economy healthy. When you keep your local economy healthy, you’re making a big impact. The first is jobs. You hear politicians constantly trying to get businesses to their towns but do you know what happens when a large company moves in? Sure locals are employed but the revenue generated by that local branch office always goes back to the headquarters, sometimes in another state. That other state reaps the benefits more.
When money is spent locally, it drives more businesses to open and existing thrive. This grows towns and local economies. For example, the larger Xinsto grows and the more team members we hire (we don’t use that “e-word” but I’ll discuss that in another post), the larger office space we need means more money to our landlord which means they can invest more into building more space for businesses such as artisan shops, specialty stores, delicious local restaurants and that means more for locals.
We operate in an area that is seasonal. Majority of our customers make their money May through November. But the more money we add to the local economy promotes new housing, new jobs, and more year-round enjoyment. It’s a win-win for everyone!
The downside nobody wants to hear
Unfortunately, one of the downsides to small business is that what we charge does cost more. That botique clothing store doesn’t have the same purchase power as a major department store. Since they can’t buy in large quantities, prices are higher with a razor thin margin. That margin is how they pay rent, pay employees, keep the lights on, and take enough home to pay their bills too. After all, we are people just like everyone else.
Another downside is that they have people who wear multiple hats. They might have a receptionist who has to double as a hair stylist. Some of these skills can easily be transferred. What I run into a lot of though is the receptionist who also has to double as the IT person. This is where our managed services really come through. When I go to a customer location and find things in a really bad state, I show the value we offer. We have the skills small business don’t hire for and we do it cheaper than what it costs to hire someone.
Small business for small business
This is why I love doing what I do. Today, businesses have to be technology focused. Their customers expect a website. Owners need a POS that keeps track of inventory in real time. Sometimes offices have networks so mismanaged that they just think technology is slow and accept it. That’s not the case.
Businesses we work with discover all the time that now their employees have time to do their jobs. Their systems are secure and compliant (PCI-DSS for anyone who accepts credit cards for instance, which is nearly every company). They end up saving money.
Remember, shop small, shop local, and give us a call for a free consultation.