Bigger is not always better
10/10/2006 12:00:00 AM
One of the newest surveys of the distribution sector shows that more than 65 percent of all distributorships are still family-owned independent businesses. Despite mergers, acquisitions, recessions and the like, the small distributor remains, with the average company being in business for several decades.
So why have small firms been so successful? Small companies are more flexible than their larger competitors, can make decisions faster, have less bureaucracy, and offer the technical expertise their customers need.
Smaller businesses more quickly adapt to change and often are more service-oriented than their larger competitors. And they are usually local or at least regional which most customers prefer.
Being a large company, whether it is in distribution or any other business, does not guarantee success or profitability. Some of the smaller companies have told us they are content with being labeled "small." In one example, an official said his company had been profitable for three generations because they had provided personalized service that his larger competitors simply could not match.
Small distributors, particularly those who have carved out a niche for themselves, are going to be around for some time. Count on it. - Jack Keough