Monday, December 7, 2009

Small Business vs. The Corporate Giant

In today's economy I think we all need to make an important decision. Stand by the corporate giants like 7-Eleven and Hess or support our small business owners. The huge corporations have millions of dollars to withstand this recession while the little guy is going under and closing their doors.

A little history: I used to be a manager for 7-Eleven for 27 years. In the last few years they started to franchise here in Florida. The deal they made sound so sweet but when you did the math they are in my opinion taking advantage of the franchisee, 7- Eleven wants 48 to 52% of the profits and then you as the franchisee pay all the bills out of what is left. I did not like this and was scared of being in the unemployment line with the millions of others, so I went out on my own. This action has taken up my entire life savings, every time I feel I am making progress another stumbling block is thrown in my way.

I have learned a lot over the past 7 months, like I never concerned myself with the cost of things like straws or cup lids and napkins. Believe it or not these and many others are very costly items. I have learned the companies like Coca Cola and Pepsi take advantage and hold hostage the small business owner. You as the store owner must have so much space given to them, carry items that you just sit on, and buy large amounts to get a reasonable price to be able to compete with the big dogs. I don't know how many times I have to pay say $8 for a case of 12 pack soda when Hess or RaceTrac is selling them 2 for $5 or 2 for $6.00. How if this fair?

Beer on the other hand is regulated the beer companies have to offer everyone the same price no matter who you are. But the more you can buy the better discount you can get, therefore offer the consumer a better retail. Of course most small business owners do not have the funds to buy in a 50 case deal in order to do this. The big guns do and most of the time do not pass it along to the consumer.

Cigarettes, not only was there a federal tax increase in April but the state of Florida did an additional $1.00 per pack tax in July. Every retailer had to pay a $1.00 per pack for every pack of cigarettes in their store on July 1st. Ouch This One REALLY HURT!!! The cigarette companies offer what they call a buy-down for the space you allow them and you must sign a contract and follow their rules. Marlboro for example wants their product displayed in the shape of a T. You have to do this because you will sell more of their product than any other premium brand. Lorillard The makers of Newport want the top two shelves this can't happen because of Marlboro, unless you can afford to buy your own rack and not use the cigarette companies rack. So the perfect example is Newport if I buy wholesale it cost me 52.74 a carton or I can walk across the street and pay $44 and some change plus tax for a carton and only sell single packs. Also with the buy down you must pay the full price in advance and wait for your check to arrive once a month. In the mean time you may only be making 25 to 30 cents a pack as you sell them. The big dogs offer a multi pack discount, but of course they have the buying power, and if you buy a single pack your were screwed and they did not even say thank you. The little guy like me will offer a more consistent single pack price at a more reasonable price.

The vendors as I hope you can see have us by the balls and who are they The Big corporate giant, Go Figure! Who are the ones they pretend to have the super deals stores like 7-Eleven and Hess, the Big Corporate Giants.

Any how off my rant and back to my point. We all need to decide, shop with the small business owners, not just convenience stores but small businesses of all kinds or stand by the corporate giant and let the rich keep getting richer. It is my belief that if we shop with and do business with the small business owner we will all be doing our part in helping the economy to a speedier recovery. We will help one an other survive in a time that is destroying our lives and livelihood. We will regain self confidence and self respect. And most importantly we will be helping our fellow American.

And You never know what kind of awesome deals you might find. At my store we offer a breakfast you can't beat. 2 biscuits and sausage gravy, or scrambled eggs, grits or hash browns, and your choice of bacon, sausage links or patty, chicken and toast for $2.00 even McDonald's can't beat that.

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