You hear a lot about big companies swallowing up the little guys. This has been going on for decades. Big companies buy out the smaller ones or put them out of business due to the competition. It can definitely be a challenge to own a small company that only operates in one location. I would know—I’ve been operating a local house painting company in the San Diego area for 15 years now. I talk with many other small business owners who face the same challenge I do of competing with the better-known national brands.
However, there are also some advantages to owning a local painting company. Many people want to work with local companies, and will choose to do so, all other things being equal. They like the idea of keeping their money in their own community and supporting companies that keep their local economy going.
Have you ever noticed how big national brands will go to great lengths to make it sound like they are local companies? I find this fascinating. These companies will say things like they are “in your neighborhood” or that they are “locally operated.” This is really just another way of saying they have a location in your area that has a manager on site. Any company—no matter how huge—with a brick-and-mortar building could insinuate they are “local” by using these terms. However, that doesn’t make them what most people think of as a “local” company.
For most people, a local company is one that is owned and operated by people in their community. The company has roots in the local area. The owner is someone they might see around town. They are often the ones that support neighborhood charities, schools, youth sports teams, and community events. They know the area, its people, and its needs.
It can feel good to hire a truly local company, but is it the best choice, if you’re trying to be a wise consumer? Here are a couple of great reasons to hire a local company—and specifically a local house painter:
Higher Level of Accountability
Local companies often live or die by their reputations, and because of this, will typically go to great lengths to provide great customer service. They know the importance of doing a job to the customer’s satisfaction and how important it is to stand behind their work. They rely on word-of-mouth advertising, and the all-important online reviews on sites like Yelp and Google.
Big brands, on the other hand, can survive for a long time on their name recognition alone. They have large marketing companies behind them that help manage their reputations and help insulate them from negative reviews. They can get by providing less-than-stellar service and their phones will still ring because they are household names that people often think of first when they need service.
As a local house painter in San Diego, I work hard to make sure every customer is completely satisfied. If there is a problem, I fix it. If a customer has a legitimate complaint, I do whatever I can to make it right. I want every customer to give my company a glowing referral to anyone who asks.
Possible Money Savings
Hiring a local company may also save you money. When you go with a large, national painting company, you are not only paying for the people painting your house, but also the company’s corporate headquarters, their executive-level salaries, the big marketing company they use to build their brand, and more.
Small local companies tend to run much more lean and efficiently, which helps them keep prices down for their customers. Of course, this isn’t always the case, but you may be surprised how much a local company can save you over working with a big, national brand. It is definitely worth it to compare. If a local company quotes you a higher amount, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. It may be the case that the local company offers a higher level of service for the price, which may be more than worth the cost.
When it comes to local house painters, their pricing can be all over the place, but a company that operates efficiently will be able to do the job for a competitive price, while still paying their workers a fair wage.
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