Long Live the Little Guy

I have been doing a lot of reading on Facebook lately. There’s all these advertisements for big companies invading your news feed. They’ve set it up so that small businesses have a harder time getting their word out now unless they pay money to promote their posts. You know, those people who can barely afford to stay operational because the “big guys” can offer similar products for a lower price? But ah yes, Facebook will always be free. Just don’t expect to reach customers that way.

Sometimes these big companies see the little guys. They have a good idea, so they want to buy that idea up. Quite often they buy the business name too so that the existing customers are lead to believe that they’re getting the same quality product, that nothing has changed. Many don’t even know the business has changed hands. Take a Canadian brand of kettle potato chips started by a lady in a small town. Her chips were famous. She ended up buying equipment to make them on a larger scale. The big guys found out about this and she sold out. She was using locally-grow potatoes and REAL ingredients. I can almost guarantee that the quality of these chips are not the same. They may taste similar, but you can bet they’re loaded with crap now and not made with the same pride as when the lady owned the business. But then again, if you’re paying low wages and your employees that are sweating their butts off for your factory can barely survive, they don’t owe you any of their pride.

What spurred this post is the respect that I have for John Lendrum, the man behind Lendrum spinning wheels. The last I heard, the waiting list to buy one of his wheels is up to at least 14 months. Why is this? If his product is that popular, why not expand or even sell it?

Mr. Lendrum insists that his hands touch every wheel that goes out his door. He does have employees that help him with certain parts, but he still touches every spinning wheel. He said that if he didn’t, they wouldn’t be Lendrums, would they?

How is that for commitment to your customers and commitment to quality? I have a deep respect for this man. This is one example of how the little guy wins and the almighty dollar loses.

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Many small businesses have to charge more than “the big guys.” But when you buy from the “big guys”, are you getting the same quality and care that you do when you purchase from a business with a handful of employees? I can promise you you’re not. So the next time you put that $25 sweater on that you purchased from the import store only to find the seams coming apart, remember… You get what you pay for!

 

 

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