It’s good to be local…

It’s Q&A time…

Q: How do you overcome the challenges that local designers & small businesses face competing with big box vendors? How do you  keep costs down and avoid pitfalls?

A: I feel lucky to work with many local designers and I have come to realize that the real challenge has been translating the quality of the product into sales with customers. Since local designers produce work on a much smaller scale than larger companies it makes sense that their prices would stay higher in order for everyone involved to make a profit. Communicating this to customers in a constructive way can be tricky. In this age of Walmart and mass-production customers are used to searching out the lowest price and expect everyone to match these prices. In an effort to defend our designers’ prices we have endeavored to promote the “quality over quantity” reasoning and explain what it is about this product that makes them worth the higher price tag. Whether it’s the expert craftsmanship, the much higher quality materials, or the mere fact that they’re supporting their local economy, the bottom line is that they’re investing in a product that will last much longer than many less expensive options.

We’ve also implemented a rewards program at Pink Olive to help customers earn points (i.e. spending money) for shopping with us. It’s been win-win across the board, and have found great success with 2-for deals that promote buying in multiples. At the end of the day, not everyone is going to understand the value of quality and craftsmanship, but the customers that you want to keep coming back will.

Do you have a challenge that you’re facing as a local designer? I would love to hear your comments below!  

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