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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Us vs. Mom and Pop

2/10/2016 (Permalink)

I was out the other day, trying to get some creative juices flowing. My friend and I start a conversation about what all SERVPRO of Cookeville does, loud enough for people around us to hear. All of a sudden a guy chimes in with, "You can't compete with mom and pop shops in this area." Then proceeds to list all of the reasons why. It really got me thinking….

 There has been a lot of buzz lately about shopping local and supporting small business. The argument for it is pretty compelling. Strictly based on economics, for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $73 remains in the local economy and only $27 leaves. Compare that to the same $100 spent at a non-locally owned business, where $43 remains in the local economy and $57 leaves. Non-profits receive 250% more from small businesses than large ones.

 SERVPRO is becoming a well known brand. Most people have seen the commercials on TV. To some this give off a very large business/corporation vibe. Although we have a corporate office, all of the franchises are independently owned and operated. This means that we are a small business. All of our employees live in the area we service. We personally buy locally, and our business buys as much as possible locally. Our kids go to school in this area, and because of that, we help with fundraisers and sponsorships. Our local economy and infrastructure are important to our business. To be proactive and involved with this, we are active members of our Chamber of Commerce. We want other small business in our area to succeed, so we are active in local business networking groups.

 If you are in any kind of business, or if you are not and have common sense, you know that customer service matters. I like going to the small boutique on our square because they know my name, size, and style. I feel like it’s a personal interaction more than a business transaction. We treat our customers the same. I run into customers from last year at the coffee shop and catch up with them. They know that they can call us at 2am, and sometimes they do. I love when we get a call that starts with, "I know you don't remember me, but you did some work on my house…" We do remember them and it makes them feel like more than an invoice. And we do work honestly. We're not going to try to upsell you on a product you don't need  

We are a small business and hiring us has all of the benefits of hiring other small businesses, but there is one HUGE difference. Do you know who mom and pop shops call when they have too large a job? They call us. When mom and pop shops are out of equipment, they are out of equipment. Done. We have the resources of another 1,699 franchise, plus our corporate office. If every building in downtown on Main Street floods, we can handle it. When I called our corporate office to see if they could give me a number of just the vehicles in the system, they said there too many to keep a list. That's a pretty big difference.

So to finish my story, the reply that the over opiniated guy got was, " We are a small business with huge resources." And that pretty much sums it up. 

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