HOW TO PROTECT SMALL BUSINESSES
Creating Jobs is not the responsibility of the Government or the Large Corporations, it is the Small Businesses and the Entrepreneurs.
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What is this Small Business CO-OP Database Framework?
The idea of a few companies getting together forming a Co-op but maintaining autonomy of each individual company is not a new one. Such a conglomeration allows these companies to be able to buy a larger quantity of items from the suppliers to command a lower price. Now is the time when this form of co-operation is the most necessary.
To help you understand why such a framework is necessary, let us go through a few basic reasons why small businesses will not be able to compete with large companies with the current system we have in place.
The struggles of small businesses:
Small businesses are incapable of matching the same low price of Big Box Companies without sacrificing profits. Higher price simply means fewer customers. If they already belong to some smaller CO-OP, they are still too small to make any significant difference.
Small businesses can not coup with changes from ever-changing regulations that are implemented by politicians funded by large corporations. (Check out Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, this is just one of the examples, there are many more of these organizations that are designed to run small businesses into the ground)
There will be constant struggles in working with suppliers. Suppliers will always put the large corporations first and not the 'little small businesses'. Sometimes, large corporations are the ones owning the suppliers, this is why they can do private-branding of the same items at a far lower price than the small businesses ever able to compete with. (I.E. Listerine does private-branding mouth-rinse for Walmart and many Pharmacies). A large corporation can also force a supplier to lower its price furthermore or risk losing its business. This is why many suppliers ended up going bankrupt and selling themselves overseas or simply have gone overseas.
If you are a small manufacturer or a small farmer producing agricultural products, you will find yourself undercut and lowballed by the middlemen who are there to help the large corporations and not you. But you don't have a choice. The condition can become quite pathetic. As the same middlemen may just betray the small businesses and sort something out from overseas, this is the case with Shad Sullivan's concern about the beef industry. This also happens with Big Tech Companies like Uber, which is using the drivers to make a lot of money to fund projects creating driverless cars to replace drivers.
Big Box Companies can have so much power that they can single-handedly influence both the manufacturers and the consumers. This is not just delivering low-quality products, this also includes their power to dictate what you can buy in the future as consumers.
Large Corporations do not care about you. If you understand how a large corporation works, you would understand why large corporations are so profit-driven even at the expense of morality.
I think we can go on-and-on on this section but it is better for us to proceed to share how the system works.
How the Database works?
With access to the Internet, people from all around the world can be easily connected with each other. We are not talking about using current social media as they are all designed to support the large corporation as we can see from the Coronavirus Pandemic.
In this case, we are thinking of uniting all small business owners to form a super purchasing power in their respective types of businesses. (Hardware stores, Stationary, Bookstore, Craft-shops and etc). So what a big box company can do, we will be able to do, except we maintain our autonomous identity.
(What I can share here is merely the tip of the iceberg, and if I were to share everything, you may not have the attention span to finish it off.)
Generally, a small business would not see it monetarily justifiable to fly overseas to visit every manufacturer, neither would these manufacturers willing to entertain a small business owner. So most smaller businesses rely on dealers for supplies.
These same dealers also supply to the larger big-box companies, at a larger quantity and likely lower price since the large corporations are always going to buy in bulk, it is simple economics. Then there is the cheaper freight, usually, the big box companies have their own logistic fleet. I.E. Walmart has its own truck fleet that would pick up products from their dealers and distribute them all around the country at a lower cost than the dealers hiring an independent truck fleet to deliver products to small businesses all around the country. In reality, Walmart can easily have their own chartered cargo ship and gather their supplies from overseas, this further reduces the cost and making them impossible to be challenged by any small businesses.
Since small businesses are less competitive they will slowly go out of business, soon the trucking companies will follow on. Both trucking and shipping companies will either be absorbed by the large corporations or operate at such low cost for the large corporation that is unbearable. Again, this would be a Modern Day Feudalism.
How can we make a difference?
As the REPRESENTATIVE of the Small Businesses Conglomeration (SBC), these are the benefits we can bring back to the local economies:
We try to be in your shoes. As a representative, we visit the manufacturers (there can be in the millions or more all around the world, and we understand that) on behalf of all the small businesses. We make sure the quality of the products meet the standard as if we are the sellers ourselves. But we will not be a dealer, neither would we be a retailer to compete against you.
The economy of scales allows lower product and operation costs. Having a large purchasing power allows small companies to negotiate with manufacturers to match the same low prices offered by big-box companies without sacrificing profits. As a conglomerate, small businesses would also have EASIER accessibility to many resources at a lower cost and therefore lowering operation costs as well.
We manage the logistic. With a database, we can avoid conditions where shipping trucks come back with empty containers or partially filled containers. With the database, we can maximize efficiency which maximizes profits for them. (I.E. we can arrange all products of the same destination to be shipped together and later distribute through smaller vehicles). With the economy of scale, these logistic companies can offer lower shipping prices realistically too.
Your Voice will be heard. We may also represent the small business conglomeration as a voice in countering the ever-changing regulations proposed by large companies. If the regulations are good regulations, we may be able to help the SBC to coup with the changing regulations, such as working with law firms to make things easier for the SBC, once again, as a conglomeration of many businesses, legal fees can be far cheaper than approaching a law firm individually and separately.
Protections for small businesses and a Healthier Free Market. Big-box companies can behave like big bullies when they have a monopoly or an oligopoly over the market. Remember again, the operate at a level similar to Mob Mentality in terms of Morality. They may bully manufacturers by demanding unrealistic low cost or risk losing their business when the contract expires. Many manufacturers would give in by cutting costs in other areas leading to bad environmental practices. I have done a project in China and have witnessed these problems first-hand with many plastic manufacturers. By offering them a second option from the SBC, these companies may ignore the big-box companies' unrealistic demands and still remain viable. This may keep the big-box companies in check and to play it fair again. It is possible that some of our SBC are manufacturers too, which have been suffering in the hands of the Big-Box companies, and I am sure they would appreciate this framework.
We avoid conflict of interest. We will not get into the same business to compete with Small businesses. Staying out of the same business helps us to serve the SB Conglomeration without self-interest.
Keeping money circulating in the local economy, when you shop at a local mom's and pop's store. The money spent in the local businesses stays in the area and not to some huge US corporations with their "headquarters" deliberately set up in some tax-free foreign countries or other States. This also helps to Reduce Income Inequality and keeping the local economy strong with more money in circulation locally.
Better wages and Relationship-Building at the workplace- When you work for a large corporation, you are dealing with a "system" not a person. The "system" is also designed to maximize profits with whatever measures and loopholes they can exploit. The same job in a local company may provide you enough income to support your family without being overworked. Also, working in a local business, you develop good relationships with your employers, colleagues and also customers.
We respect that every business is autonomous. We only gather together as many small businesses as possible but respecting every company as an autonomous company. We will have contracts in place to forbid ourselves from meddling in the matter of these autonomous companies. We have only one objective, managing the framework to facilitate buying as a conglomeration and distributing logistically as a conglomeration. We generate profit by taking a small percentage from the sales.
A body of Fundamental Principles will be established, like a constitution, to make sure that everyone, including the founders, is abided by and is NOT subjected to change so that there is no opportunity for the Representative Company to go rogue.
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How can we protect small businesses?
This is probably a question many Westerners are deeply concerned about. The answer offered today by President Trump in the USA is: "Bring manufacturing back to America!" I suppose the same is applicable to Australia where I reside now.
But, is it really that simple?
The last time I was in Brisbane Airport in Australia, I was at a Clothing Store looking at some T-shirts, some were Made in Australia, and some were Made in China, both with Australian-grown Cotton. The Australian-made T-shirts were AU$17 while the Chinese-Made T-Shirts were AU$10. Quality-wise, the Chinese-Made T-shirts were a few notches better in terms of colors and texture. I want to support the Australian-Made brand, but I don't want to spend my money on something that is inferior and yet more expensive. I would be happy to pay the AU$17 if the Australian-made T-shirt was at least the same quality as the Chinese-Made.
How many Westerners notice about this problem now in the West?
If we were to bring manufacturing back, either in the US or Australia, can we compete in terms of Quality without 2x or 3x the price??
Many conservatives were supportive of large corporations like Walmart, McDonalds, KFCs and etc.
Before you defend these big companies for how many jobs they have created, know well that these big companies are supportive of organizations that would soon influence the politics and enact laws that are detrimental to small businesses. For instance, the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef is an organization that is systematically destroying cattle businesses in the US in the pretense of sustainability and yet, they are more than happy to import beef from countries that may not adhere to sustainable practices. They DO NOT BELIEVE IN WHAT THEY PREACH, they are only using sustainability to increase the cost of operations to destroy small businesses while they happily import beef from countries that do not have laws (or not enforcing them) against shady practices. What is shocking is that they have the big corporations like McDonalds and Walmart watching their backs too.
Do not think that there are going to be any legal consequences against these large corporations exploiting the loop-holes in the law of many foreign countries. They have gone too big to fail at that. Neither do you have the resources to fight them at all, think about how many Fortune 500 companies that paid 0% taxes in the past years?
Consumers will need to say no to products sold in these big-box companies. The only way they know is we have a fully neutral free-speech platform, which youtube, facebook, vimeo and many popular social media are not. We may start out with a Forum that allows real free speech.
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