Business is not a dirty word, but some people pretend it is.
They assume profits should be laced with guilt like cheap cocaine is laced with rat poison.
Their logic is thus: The bigger the profits = the more people must have been ripped off.
For the most part that’s not true.
But “Victim” is a new profession that people can hire themselves for. Regardless of their experience of relevance for the role.
It’s fun to hate big brands, huge corporations and large entities. They must be evil, right?
From early stories we are conditioned to distrust size. The bigger something is, the more power it has and therefore its potential for tyranny is unwavering.
But the biggest lie in business is Morality. Put simply, ALL companies, big or small, are in it for the same reason… Your money.
It’s some people’s assumption that smaller businesses have better intentions. A local farmer, a lowly shopkeeper or an over-worked cabbie.
You support their efforts because it’s personal. You can see the fruits of their labour right in front of you.
Some of these people are DAMN hard workers.
But you always hear about store owners being driven out of business by supermarkets or malls that have opened up nearby.
Why? Because everyone is selfish with their money. The buyers want to hold onto more of it, the sellers want to take more of it for themselves.
To compete, small businesses sometimes use emotive techniques to win your money back. They’re being bullied out of making a living by the new Tesco/Walmart opening down the street.
Less customers and less sales often means hiking profit margins way up to compensate.
“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.” — Sam Walton
WHY? Cheaper has replaced better in a buyer’s eyes.
Some of the biggest businesses in the world have the lowest profit margins, but they sell everything to everyone to compensate for it.
They thrive because they can sell the same product (or a better one), cheaper.
So why do we hate them when they grow past a certain scale? Because we’re hypocrites.
If you work for money in any capacity, you are a business.
Maybe not in the legal sense, but practically your skills and labour are exchanged for money.
To criticise businesses for wanting to make any money is, by your own virtue, hating yourself.
Wouldn’t you like to be paid more? Or to earn more than you do?
The society that we live in is structured around earning to survive. We need money to eat, drink water, have shelter.
Sure, charities exist, but they can only operate on the excess funds of kind donators. If we all had our hand out, they’d all remain empty.
Unfortunately, a strong moral compass is not a currency.
The most you can hope for when buying from a business (big or small) is that it cares about longevity. Staying in business for a long, long time.
To pick just one side is misguided and silly.
Often we forget ALL large businesses began as small businesses.
Growth & longevity in business usually comes from an owner and staff that are passionate about their products… selling with passion and not just ‘selling’.
Next time you’re on the high street, simply look at any shop and ask yourself this question. “What value does this shop give to society? Does it sell with passion, or is it just selling things people will buy?”
“Do their workers wear their clothes or use their services out of choice or contractual obligation?”
Then I ask you this… Do you think it will be there in 5 years? 10 years? 20 years?
HOW A SUCCESSFUL STORE CAN END UP CLOSING DOWN
- Store opens and does well.
- Local authority increases business rates / Landlord increases rent on store owner.
- Prices go up.
- Competitor opens up online and can sell the same product cheaper.
- Buyers flood over in their millions.
- The lack of sales/income forces the brick & mortar store to close.
- People blame Amazon or ASOS etc for their dirty businesses practices (despite shopping there) and run a GoFundMe for Larry the Greengrocer who’s been doing it for 30 years.
SIDENOTE: Just like political voting, where people say they spend it and where they actually spend it are two different things. They are upholding a personal image.
The overwhelming increase of businesses closing down is a prime example of how wealth is transferred in a capitalist market.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Better means better.
Whether that means shopping local, or living within your means, you shouldn’t have to feel guilty.
The world is more divided than ever, so it’s easy to get caught up with picking sides. But you can support both.
Your responsibility is to buy the best product at the best price you can… and the market will autocorrect itself from that point on.
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