Is there really a compelling reason to do business with local folks, or to patronize small businesses? If you believe in karma (i.e. what goes around, comes around), there probably is.
When is the last time a shareholder of Really Big Company called to make an appointment at your office? As a healthcare provider, your customers (patients) and referral sources are fellow members of your local community. Is there even one compelling reason to not increase your visibility with patients and referral sources?
- Local vendors and their employees are exposed to what you offer
- Small company staff become familiar with their customers, and often share their stories with their friends and family
- Big companies spend a fortune on creating “buzz”; you can do it even more cheaply and effectively by seeking opportunities to interact with folks in your area
- Only one referral from a local small business likely dwarfs any perceived saving from buying from large corporations
Boosting the Local Economy
When you buy from a small local business, the transaction often benefits your local economy (town, county, state) more than when you buy online or from a “big box” store.
- Small local companies employ local people
- Small local companies often support local causes like your food bank and sports leagues
- Profits at big box companies go to shareholders, usually far, far away
- Many far-ranging studies reveal a host of other community benefits
Forbes often comments on the purely economic value of working with small businesses, like in this article. If you think you’re bottom line is better when buying online or through large suppliers, you may be mistaken.
- Small companies often offer personal service which can save you time
- Small companies frequently understand the needs of individual customers, and steer them towards appropriate purchases
- Local companies typically require less freight and transportation, lowering costs and benefitting the environment
So what’s stopping you? Please share your personal stories with other practices.