If you are ready to head out to a hardware store to buy everything you need for your next remodeling project, remember to also visit a few locally-owned stores. If you have heard of the “buy local” slogan (used so frequently these days), you may already know about the benefits of choosing smaller, locally-owned supply stores over larger big-box stores. If not, then here are eight reasons why it is better to utilize the services of your own local cabinet maker, local countertops, plumbing and electrical stores, and many other smaller “mom and pop” businesses.
These will help you use your own community's resources to get the job done right:
- Quality. A person who owns a local lighting supply store, for example, is in it because he or she loves the business. They probably know everything there is to know about lights, and know what works and what doesn't. They are not very likely to sell you junk. They carefully choose what goes onto their shelves, and if you ask, they will help you choose the best lighting for your home.
- Customer Service. With small businesses, reputation is everything! If you've ever been to a big box store, you probably noticed that most employees there are either preoccupied with stocking, waiting for their lunch break, or stretched too thin to be truly helpful. Working for a smaller store, on the other hand, creates a completely different work environment. Here, you will often find much happier workers who are eager to help.
They will readily give you sound advice that you can use during a remodel, suggest different hardware options, and even let you in on some of the most common mistakes that you can avoid.
- Money stays in the community. Many studies have shown that downfalls in local economies are not necessarily due to lack of money in the community, but that the money leaves it too quickly.
If you buy from a big-box store, know that your money leaves town as quickly as you swipe your credit card. Local businesses, however, keep their funds in the community. They buy things, invest, and even start more businesses, which in turn employs more people.
- Product guarantee. If something you bought doesn't work, you know who is responsible. You can't argue much with a cashier at a Megastore, but you can hold a local business owner accountable. After all, they have a reputation to uphold, so they are likely to help you out, even if it is a detriment to their business. The good news is that most defective products are covered under warranty.
- Competitive pricing. Many local businesses offer products at comparable cost, because they know where to buy good quality items at very reasonable rates. In some cases, you will find significant savings just by checking with local stores first.
- Fitting the budget. You are already saving money by doing the project yourself, but you still have a budget to work with. There are items you can skimp on, and there are others that will require a full payment. How do you know which ones are which?
Local business owners' advice can help you tailor your needs in order to make the most of your dollars. Get recommendations from a couple of different sources, and then go with what best fits your situation.
- Satisfaction guaranteed. If you are, like most of us, used to visiting large warehouse-style hardware stores for all your home remodeling needs, then switching to smaller, local, community-based businesses will give you a great feeling of satisfaction.
Try it for your next project and you will be content in knowing that you are giving back to your community, because you are doing your part to help your local economy grow and prosper!