How do we relate big business with smaller business is the subject here that I am going to analyze in my own way of thinking and study? This of course is, based on my personal experiences in the capacity of a marketing head of a big communication company and discussing the issue with my friends and coworkers repeatedly.
Streamlining and expanding, reaching consumers, becoming more professional - are all needed and good for a business. There are some negative factors to consider as well, though. Over here, there are huge companies with multiple branches all over the world, which have done all that as they grew huge but the result in many communities into which they have infiltrated their businesses is that the smaller, hometown businesses are, driven out off the scene.
The small business cannot compete with those huge chains, which have grown and accumulated almost unlimited resources to take over any market into which they choose to expand and move. They offer lower prices since they deal in quantities, which naturally cost them less per item - so they can sell for less per item. A smaller business offering the same items has to pay more for a smaller inventory and then they must pass the higher prices along to the consumers. Of course, people's loyalty may keep them using those smaller, more hometown dealers, but the tendency is to follow the lower priced deals. Therefore, it ends up killing the initiative for the smaller business to get started and to keep at it. That is sad.
One might think that it is fair if some businesses are clever and able to grow into mammoth monopolies with countless franchises in every little village and town. However, it takes advantage of the basic premise of a small company that has its roots in a town and has maintained the personal touch and connection with that town rather than reaching forever-bigger prizes. For a consumer it makes difficult to help his or her own neighbors grow a business from "the ground up".
Most of us would like to support our local businesses and will if we find their prices competitive and/or their personal service superior. However, few of us have the time or means to do such research individually when the biggies broadcast theirs so strongly that we simply cannot miss it!
We feel badly when we see our hometown businesses shutting down, but we have helped it happen by patronizing those big ones who are taking over, with little or no conscience for the flattening of others in their steamroller growth paths. Moreover, we are, left with buying whatever quality they are willing to maintain, when we used to be able to find a high standard of quality at our local neighboring shop, along with a smile and a genuine effort to help us find it.
However, I have some points to add, okay - here it goes:
1) Advertising is almost a 'given' necessity. In fact - mouth-to-mouth among friends & neighbors is a method of advertising too. If one does not know about a business and what it provides, it is unlikely one will patronize it. Businesses usually ‘put its best food forward' when they advertise, and, of course.
2) Why would not they? They have a stake in 'selling' people on their business, though they may or may not live up to their claims.
On the other hand, when someone we know personally recommends a business, we can usually rely on it is being factual. Then that business itself is eager to live up to a well-founded reputation that infects being, vouched for by local folks.
As I have an experience of a car accident of my own, a minor one though, they urged me to use one of their Direct Repair businesses for the work, though legally I am free to get it done any place I choose. The Direct Repair places with which the insurance company become affiliated, work directly with the insurance company. They do the estimating, perform the repairs and the insurance company pays them directly. All the customer has to do is take them the car. Otherwise, there are steps to be, done approvals, etc.
Naturally, these Direct Repair service people want to please the insurance company primarily so they can keep the relationship with the insurance company going and they will do whatever it takes, even using inferior parts on one's car in order to keep affiliation with the insurance company. In other words, they work for the interest of the insurance company, not the individual needing the repairs.
I have always had my car work done by a reliable neighborhood Delhi Car Care place, but I was inclined to take my damage to one of those Direct Repair places just because it sounded simpler and more hassle-free. However, I could not quite decide to do it. Therefore, I went online to see what I could find out about those places and found many customers who were not satisfied with negative reports about the quality of the repairs at those places. Therefore, I decided to call my neighborhood Car Care, and spoke with one of the co-owners, who is a hands-on person at the shop and who has given me outstanding service beyond-the-call-of-duty for many years. They do not do collision repair but he had a personal recommendation for a nearby shop that does that kind of repair and he accompanied me over to them, introduced me as a good customer of his, and left me in their good hands, where they were able to begin the work that afternoon. Their service has been outstanding. They even drove me back home and will come get me when the work is done - and even offered to take me anywhere I needed to go while it is being, done! That difference between big and small is why I think so that small is better than bigger. Do you think so?
Yes, customers are the backbone of a business and personal service and if they follow-through, they can win customer loyalty! However, a huge business can get by with giving minimum service & quality and can still get enough quantities of customers who have little or no other choice, if the biggies have virtually driven out the competition of small companies who can and would offer the fine-tuning of service and high standards in order to win and keep customers.
My ideas are mere personal observations & experiences. However, I am passionate about some things. One is the ever-present statistics, which govern & often determine success or failure in a business enterprise, by simply ignoring human values.
I learned that first-hand as a public calling equipment-marketing manager. It's a multi-tiered business built on continual expansion at the bottom to support the high level at the top. I have traveled vastly to meet my network all over the country and some other countries where 16Khtz works.
Eventually I perceived that my success rested on my ability to deliberately wield the statistics and ignore the fall-out of those I had convinced to try and to invest their resources in the opportunity. Of course, statistically, the vast majority was destined to drop by the wayside after their joining and trying it boosted my success, which realistically rested on most of them becoming victims of relentless statistics and being, constantly replaced with new recruits, all of which always made the difference in success or failure. I had believed in the opportunity and that anyone can make it. However, statistically, it is not ever going to happen.
I headed for success, but when I fully understood it, I was unwilling to play that game. Therefore, I simply stopped while on the brink of big winning for myself.
I cannot recommend what anyone else ought to do, but I admire those who are able to juggle the realistic factors without sabotaging others' chances at sharing in success at a reasonable level. No one is omnipotent, so we cannot always know, but when we do see it and know it, we ought to do the right thing.
I also admire those who can understand and apply the rules of the game while still adjusting to realities and answering to conscience. I see too many examples, which do not do so. Perhaps it is unawareness on their part, or perhaps our system, which slanted to urging getting, big winnings, it is too easy to assuage the conscience and go for the prizes.
I believe in free enterprise and accept that it will not always result in success. However, in many cases, it is a "fixed game" against many investing self and resources, but few really winning. Call me old-fashioned. However, I must live with myself. Therefore, I resigned from the job as I felt this was like manipulating the innocent customer.