Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Shop Small Business First

I recently read a blog where the author posted about all the small businesses in our town, Farmville NC. I was impressed with what he wrote but declined to comment because I wanted to use that energy on my blog. He was encouraging folks to visit the small businesses, see what we have and check out our prices before judging and automatically assuming we are higher priced. He pointed out the good in us. I was grateful.

I have posted before about the virtues of small, locally owned businesses mainly because, well, I own one. I am not sure anyone, unless they own a small business, understands the effort each and every one of us put into bringing each of you a good product and great service at a competitive price. It is extremely hard for the small business to compete with the buying power of a big-box store. So instead, we have to search for items that you won't see at those big-box stores and ensure the price is fair and the service you get is top-rate. We know you are going to automatically think of the big stores and we are constantly trying new things to stay in the fore-front of your mind. I promise you, we want your business.

I know when it comes to selecting wines to go on my shelf, I prefer finding items that are not in our local grocery stores. I do carry wines that care carried in other stores, but I try my best to bring you wines you will only find in wine shops and restaurants. Why? Because my store is different and I want you to find something you won't find everywhere else. My sister and I want to be there to answer your questions; to advise you on what to have with your dinner, what to drink for Bunco and what to drink while tailgating. It is why we opened a wine store. You won't get that in a big-box store.

We also have a store full of unique handcrafted items. We have tried our best to bring you quality items that are lovingly made. We love when a woman picks out a gift, her husband notices and then he sneaks back in to buy it for her for a special occasion. We love it when you come in and walk around and around searching for the perfect gift. We know we may not have what you are looking for, but we love that you chose us for your search. We do so love that smile you get when you have picked out that perfect gift. Questions about the artist? We can help with that as well as tell you where they live, why they do what they do and make special requests if you have any. You won't get that in a big-box store.

The gentleman who owns Farmville Hardware right across the street from me has spent countless hours trying to figure out the needs of people in town. He now carries horse grain, dog food, bird baths, flags and various other items all because he wants your business. He doesn't want you to go out of town to buy it. He also delivers...on his own time. Free. Last time I checked, the big-box stores do not do that.

I had a recent discussion with someone who told me they buy their case of wine at a store 1.5 hours away from here. My jaw dropped. Or at least in my mind it did. Instead I just smiled and walked out knowing that so many people don't get it. No, I don't sell bottles of wine that are $2.50. And quite frankly...I will let someone else do that. I prefer to give you good value wines. I also know that people buy their wine from another large store within a 15 minute drive for their large events. I would love to be your supplier for your wedding, party, charity event or back-yard bash. I also deliver...on my own time. Free. Last time I checked, the big-box stores do not do that.

A lot of us who own businesses in small towns, like Farmville NC, are not from here, have no connection here, have no family here, yet, we still chose to live here, start a business here and call the town home. We want to be the first place you think of when you need something. Please keep all of us in your thoughts when you hop in that car. Better yet, stroll down Main Street, stop in and say hello. We want you to shop us first. We would love to meet you.

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