For years now, the message of shopping local to benefit small businesses has been in the public consciousness, but has it really affected the way these companies perform? According to information from a new poll, consumers who are interested in supporting local companies appreciate benefits, such as the greater focus on customer service.
This data comes from this year's Cox Consumer Pulse on Small Businesses, which draws from a sample size of 1,400 individuals nationwide for information on their small business habits. Nearly 80 percent supported local restaurants the most, and more than 70 percent believe "it's important to buy local."
In addition, more than half of the respondents prefer small businesses for customer service reasons, with both restaurants and food and beverage stores ranking the highest for "above average" service interactions. When asked how these businesses might improve their offerings, more than 50 percent of respondents cited more competitive pricing as an option.
Small business owners can take this information alongside the Paychex IHS Small Business Jobs Index. According to a recent press release, small business jobs, overall, are developing at a rate of nearly .48 percent higher than observed in 2005, despite a dip last month. Paychex CEO Martin Mucci acknowledged this by saying that, "Although the national index growth rates have varied this year, the overall trend remains positive."
Capitalizing on this can be easier when entrepreneurs have business consulting experts at their disposal. These specialists can advise on financial issues as companies obtain the loans they need to sustain themselves and take advantage of consumer preferences.