“We think big incumbents—however well managed—are going to continue to struggle against the depredations of the ‘ankle-biters’”  – RBC analyst, James Edwardes Jones. (Chaudhuri, Saabira “Outfoxed by Small-Batch Upstarts, Unilever Decides to Imitate Them Wall Street Journal Jan 2018)

This Wall Street Journal article is worth your time.  We got a little excited — not to splash about happily in the warm water of big business despair, but to remember that we small business owners are literally having a global impact, one connection at a time.


3 Reasons Why Local Businesses Have an Advantage Over Big Business


Unilever wasn’t supposed to have this kind of problem…” None of us are surprised that we outfoxed them. “Some of the world’s biggest investors say these big brands are doomed if they don’t change radically.” Large scale multinational businesses are spending a lot of money and reorganizing their decision making processes to reclaim the market share they are losing while, smaller, locally-focused entrepreneurs will continue to have an advantage in three areas:


  1. Our community connection. We value and appreciate the connections we have with those in the communities we are serving, and we can understand our customers in a way that global corporations might not be able to. These established relationships with our customers and vendors are something big businesses can’t touch — no matter how much market research and data analysis they do.


  1. Our level of innovation.  Small businesses don’t have layers and layers of hierarchy, and we are more connected to those who we serve. These two factors combined help us to create the innovation we need to stay the course. We can quickly stop, pivot, and execute on a new opportunity or trend, and we can do it faster and far more effectively than a big company.


  1. Our unique personality and flavor. To save money and resources, big companies like to mass produce their products. But there are many things that they can’t mass produce: personality, relationships, the passion and sense of purpose that motivates us each day. With a small, locally-focused business, when we are behind the counter… out in the field… in the office… we put ourselves into everything we produce, almost without even trying.


And perhaps most importantly, we care… We are in business not just to make money, but to make a difference, to express our talents and show off the fruits of our labor, to offer our families, neighbors, and friends healthy, wholesome choices and impactful services.