Please Support Your local Mom-and-Pop Stores
By Jacobus Hollewijn
August 18, 2022
This article is an extended version of a 1-minute radio commercial which played in October of 2021
An often used expression during COVID-19 was "We're in this together." However, many small, local businesses, who already were running on a shoe-string budget, have disappeared, because they would not get local support during the pandemic. It is a sad story to see internet companies double or triple their income, while small Mom-and Pop stores are no more. Was it really necessary to snub the local markets? And look at the recent looting and violence we have seen... What will it do to local retail options. It's time to focus positively on your fellow neighbor businesses. You feel better about it also.
When it comes to small retail stores I can tell you it has been a hell-of-a-ride supplying shelves since March of 2020.
Sometimes the problem has been a specific ingredient, component, or packaging material that were not available; or it would not be available at the high-quality that product companies demand. However, word has come out it could have been simple supply issues because manufacturers of the whole product, or some detail of it would shut down because of employees being diagnosed with COVID; and everyone in close contact with those individuals would have to self-quarantine for x-amount of days.
This caused a nationwide staffing issue, combined with a weekly payment to employees of $600.00 for not working. Many vendors didn’t have enough workers to put the shipping boxes together, seriously delaying shipments for weeks.
And as convenient as it may have been during COVID-19 to order on-line from different warehouses, it is essential to have a local place where one can find dietary supplements, organic produce, parts for a home-repair project (including wood, drywalls, and windows), and specific-needs grocery items.
I encourage you to support your local Mom-and-Pop stores. This is where you get personal service, possible advice regarding the difference between available options, and, usually you can sign-up for a Loyalty Program and enjoy daily/monthly special deals.
It has been a very tough time for most local businesses and your ongoing support is very necessary and appreciated! Let's face it: these owners and employees are your real neighbors, the internet vendors are not. Money local companies make is usually put back into the community, because they are shoppers, too.
DEVIL IN THE DETAIL
Allow me to give you some insights in what it takes to create and run a (local) retail store. This way you may better understand that it's not just the product you buy, but also the whole effort that goes in to keep the doors open for you.
- First, I think the individual needs a vision for what to establish, and that person needs to "see" the potential success. Those two will be the driving forces during rough times. You are the axle in this project and people are looking to you to keep your head cool and positive. What are you trying to sell? Have you studied your market? Your competition? The type of town/city/village you are living in? Do you want to be in retail, and deal with all the headaches that come with running your own business?
- Then find the right place; something with enough visibility and parking. In spite of the fact that one may participate in social media in order to promote the business, there is still the need that people come to you, and shop inside. You also hope that it will be affordable; in other words: the business you plan to run should be able to make enough money to pay rent, invest in inventory and equipment, have employees, take care of necessary repairs, pay utilities and possibly advertising, while also starting to make a profit within the first three years.
- The next step, unless you have enough money saved up for this new venture, is to make a business plan, as realistic as possible. Hopefully a bank or lender will give you the money and carry the debt until you start turning that profit. A wise man once said: "Partners are for Dancing." Having a business partner does not always have a happy ending, unless it is a spouse who carries the same positive vision. A bank or lending organization will keep you more focused on repaying the loan. Especially in the beginning years it will demand more time-investment from the person owning the store in order to keep other costs down.
- Most of your investment will go to the products you're promoting, and you hope customers want to buy from you.
The purpose of this website is to inform, educate, and entertain, not to diagnose, treat, or cure. Jacobus is not a licensed physician. If you intend to utilize any of the information contained in the articles and/or podcasts, it is recommend you see a licensed, competent medical provider of your choice, or find additional information from other reputable sources. I cannot control the opinions of my guests. I will double-check my facts in good faith, but may not be able to fully verify every statement made by any third party. If you utilize any information from this Website, you do so at your own risk.