Thursday, March 5, 2009

The 'little guy'

You know we moved about two and half years ago. We moved from a small town to a town that is very close to Charlotte NC. We had to find new everything. A new mechanic, new dentist, new dr, new beautician, you name it.

I try to support the small businesses because 'I' have a small business and really enjoy support and it helps the local economy by going to people rather than a chain store. And we came from a town filled with small businesses, lived there long enough to know the owners and help support them. The optometrist who would mail our kids contact lenses at college, the grocery store that always had carry out for pregnant women or older people, the pharmacist that always asked how the golf game was, the bar that if you forgot to pay your bill, hung it over the cash register and when you remembered the next day, you could go back and pay it. The grocery who put the cart full of groceries in the cooler when I drove home without them (brain fart that day!)
The grocery that ordered my favorite rye bread when the bread guy stopped bringing it. The UPS man who would stop when he saw my car someplace and give me my packages.
We were so spoiled! But supporting the 'little guy' here is what will give us that kind of service again.

So this is what I've learned.

Sometimes someone is a small business because they don't do a good job running a business.

Like the coffee shop that is never open when we walk downtown. In fact, we went during the hours the sign said it is open, and it was closed with the sign down. I guess they figure they aren't selling enough coffee so they may as well not be open. (???????) I think they are open sometime or another.....

Don't go to a dentist with a sign out that says 'taking new patients!' because, well, maybe he'll take needless xrays that insurance won't cover and tell you that you should have every tooth with a filling crowned. Ask around and find one that is trustworthy and not into padding his pockets. (didn't need the crowns--went to a different dentist)

don't go to an eye doctor that is only open 4 days a week, closed from 12-1 everyday and at 4:00 and tells you to come back for a second eye exam to get a contact lens refill. (could he have done it all at once? Could he fill the prescription from the old eye Dr? Did I do something wrong when he and I talked about contacts and how I would need refills? I think I didn't communicate well on that one)
Find the one that is open until 7 one night a week and comes highly recommended by people you know. Not only is the customer service awesome, so was the eye exam and free samples too.

Don't trust someone who gave you a really bad haircut to color weave your hair. (it took about a year to recover from that experience-- you don't even want to know)

We have tried restaurants with bad food and good service, good food and lousy service and found some that are small gems hidden in Charlotte, our favorite being Beef and Bottle, where you get the best steak in a 1950's kind of atmosphere, (which I think is that way just because it hasn't changed not that it was planned) And that awesome Italian place that is hidden away that we went to for Valentine's day.
Tony's ice cream (it's been there since the 1920's) they make their ice cream and giant chocolate shakes that are so good, it's best we have to drive a half hour to get there. We should walk there and burn off the calories.

Morgan's shoes and bootery. Wow.... like this is my very favorite place to go (and dangerous too since I loves shoes......)

The auto mechanic who only charged me 12 dollars to put freon in my AC, or the dishonest one who put in a new $700 part. We took the old part to someone else to have it checked and there was nothing wrong with it.

The bank ladies who call me "Miss Susan" isn't that so sweet!

Billy, who owns some land on the side of the Catawba River, and you can pay him a dollar to fish there.

The farmer's market that is open every day until 5 once the weather warms up. Talking to the farmers is way too much fun.

The pet shop with tanks of koi. We walk there and go in and look at the fish.

The cleaners that don't know what 'light starch' is so my husband can't use the pockets in his shirts. hahah or the other cleaners where the lady calls me Sooo sahn and the clothes come back perfect. She has a little koi pond in her shop and gives out cards with The Lord's Prayer on them.

The BBQ place that only takes cash, is closed on Mondays and has the most mouth watering BBQ I've ever had. And sweet tea for all you sweet tea fans.

So we're figuring it out. It's taking some time. We try our best to go to the 'little guy' and support small businesses, but we also have figured out some are small by choice and some just because they don't deserve to grow because they don't run a business well.
And the cleaners really are both wonderful. That's just a starch preference. ;-)

It's taking time, but after a while the businesses we can trust are the ones we go to. It's a bit more work but it beats those big box stores when it comes to service and product, once you find them.

And what does that say for our economy? It says, give good service, have a good product and people will stay with you and your own personal 'economy' should be pretty good.


Debby said...

That is so very true. When we wanted to sell our house in HL and move, that was one of the things we thought of. Troy has fixed our cars for over 20 years. Casey has filled our prescriptions since 1978. Nobody makes pancakes like Shaker's. Buccilli's? Don't even get me started on that! Same dentist office for 30 years. Lou has given me all my glasses...and he even lived through the first pair after telling me 'this happens to a woman of your age'!!! I do so love a small town. We're learning to adapt here in FL in a bigger town. Your advide applies here too.

Very insightful post.

susanlambert said...

no kidding. We were so spoiled! Or we knew where 'not' to shop. ;-)

now you have me thinking of Buccilli's!