The Biz of Pacelinebiz

Turning things on end to achieve results!

The Owner Is In The Store

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Paceline's Owner

How May I Help You?


There is a value in doing business with small businesses in which the owner is on the premises every day actively participating in its success.  Unfortunately, this type of business is becoming increasingly rare.  If it is not competition from national or regional companies it is the multi-location local company that also competes and often wins by taking advantage of economies of scale in advertising.  Being big is not the bad thing; in fact it is a good thing that many times is the product of doing things right when small. The problem is when a company gets so large that customers are looked upon as a metric such as the number of dollars of recurring monthly revenue.

I think once the owner is insulated from daily contact with customers a sense of anonymity takes over and it becomes easier to focus on the numbers and not on the customer.  It becomes easier to increase the value of each transaction by selling items that may not be necessary or needed.  The temptation to pounce on an unsuspecting victim/customer is harder to resist.  Sometimes the need to “feed the machine” and cover overhead is a justification for cutting corners or overcharging.  Perhaps this is a too cynical view of things but I have personally been a target of the hard sell approach.

Before the “owner in the store” concept is gone, I suggest you seek out these types of businesses and give them a try.  You might be surprised at how refreshing it is to find someone who is happy to do what you ask and stop at that.  One reason for their success and lack of reliance of the hard sell approach is that they rely on repeat business from loyal customers.

I will finish with a story.  Last year I had trouble with my air conditioning unit.  It was making a horribly sounding high-pitched grinding sound.  It was a sound that seemed like certain death to my compressor.  After all, the unit was almost 10 years old and was probably not the highest quality to begin with.  I decided to call someone who I was familiar with who I knew was like me – a single man shop.  At the time I knew him, but not very well.  I called and asked him to send me a quote for a new unit and he immediately stopped me short and said he knew what the problem was and it was not a new unit.  He was in the middle of another job but said when he was done he would come over and look into it.  A while later he arrived and checked things out and left having fixed my unit for about $100 – parts, labor and trip charge included!

I had already sold myself the new unit and all he had to do was write-up the quote for a reasonable price and he had the sale.  That is what I am speaking about when I talk about the owner in the store concept.  It is the integrity of the man who is the one who takes your call and then comes out and completes the job.  I would have never known that I did not need a new unit and he knew that but did not take advantage of the situation.  I am sure that some larger companies would also do the right thing but for my money, I am a champion of the Owner In The Store Concept because I am one.

Have a great week.  Shop local and shop small.  I think you will be glad you did.


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