Just as we are being reminded to “buy local’ when retail shopping, it is equally as important to keep our local economies healthy by purchasing SERVICES locally.  In today’s marketplace of large box stores and nationwide service providers, it is promoted that these national entities make it easier and more convenient for the consumer.

While at first this may appear to be true, when digging deeper, you often find that local “mom and pop” providers offer these same conveniences with the added benefit of a more personalized experience.  Even when the end price tag for service is slightly higher, the local provider offers components which are priceless, such as you are often dealing directly with the owner of the business.  They feel personally responsible to make sure you are happy with their product/service and will cater to you to assure everything is to your satisfaction.

Buying local allows you to stimulate your local economy and ensures diversity in your direct business arena.  When hiring nationwide companies, you ultimately are often hurting the very people you depend on to utilize your services in your local community.

Take the court reporting industry, for instance.  Attorneys often comment that it is easier to hire a nationwide firm.  What goes unnoticed is that most small, local firms offer the same services in a more detailed manner.  When law firms hire nationwide deposition agencies, the same local reporter may cover the deposition; however, that reporter now receives a lower compensation rate from the national agency than local court reporting agency pay.   With the local reporting agencies and their reporters looking out for the best interests of the law firms in their own community, transcript quality, customer service, timeliness, and cost efficiency are all of paramount importance.  And in the end, the law firm supports their local community and often pays LESS!

Oftentimes, law firms are enticed by the lower page rate offered by nationwide court reporting firms, seeing this as a benefit.  There are many components that affect the bottom line.  Law firms have been led to believe that the price they pay for transcripts to these nationwide agencies is less than they would pay to a local firm, while in reality, simple formatting adjustments such as larger page margins and more white space on the page leads to an overall inflated rate for the job.  When choosing a service provider, it is important to remember, page rate isn’t everything.

Over time, while nationwide firms gain more of the reporting job market, smaller, local firms are being put out of business, and the quality of reporting is being lessened as reporters are forced to take on more jobs to receive the same compensation.  Rule of thumb, always check with your local provider first.

Communities have experienced time and time again a dwindling selection of goods and services offered by local businesses as big box stores and nationwide firms put them out of business with the promise of lower prices and greater selection.  Avoid being part of this problem.  Help stimulate your local economy by providing people in your own community with jobs.  BUY LOCAL when shopping for services as well as retail goods.