The term “locally owned and nationally powered” sounds good – but what does it actually mean?
Or more specifically: why should you care that a business you’re dealing with is locally owned and nationally powered? What are the benefits? How does it solve your problem and achieve your goal better/differently than any other business model?
In researching some of the most successful locally owned and nationally powered businesses – such as Best Western and other top brands – we discovered six core principles that drive their success: three that derive from local ownership, and three that derive from being nationally powered.
Benefits of Local Ownership
Customer Focus. Yes, all businesses aspire to be customer focused, but it’s clear that local ownership enables an intimate customer bond that cannot be achieved otherwise. Local ownership allows owners, senior managers, and everyone on down the ranks to personally understand client needs and local/regional dynamics.
No bureaucracy. There’s a reason that the word “bureaucracy” has become synonymous with “dysfunctional” – because it is. Local ownership, by design, makes the buck stop locally; not in some ivory tower head office that could be on the other side of the country; or even the world. Problems are solved quicker, customer needs are met more efficiently, and decisions can be locally that make sense locally.
Flexibility. Local ownership enables flexibility, so that the business can efficiently adapt to change – whether that’s avoiding obstacles, exploiting opportunities, or more efficiently keeping costs down and service levels up so that customer value is maximized.
Benefits of being Nationally Powered
Access to Resources. Nationally powered businesses have economies of scale that lead to more and better resources. Equipment, technology and training investments (just to name three) can be procured on a level, and at a quality standard, that is simply cost and time prohibitive for only locally owned businesses.
Stability and Structure. Nationally powered businesses have in-house knowledge capital and systems to maintain stability, which helps businesses grow and avoid some of the (sometimes inevitable) risks and pitfalls that beset locally owned businesses – things like regional economic downturns, difficulty accessing capital in order to expand, and so on.
Brand Recognition. Nationally powered businesses have a much more potent marketing reach, and can connect with prospective clients throughout the country; even the world. This brand and marketing support is manna for locally owned businesses, who need to distinguish their solution and establish their identity in what is (or what will eventually become) a competitive marketplace. It’s also valuable for clients, who want to do business with a recognized, leading brand.
The Bottom Line
Quite simply, when you put all these benefits together, you understand what the term “nationally powered and locally owned” means – and why it’s the optimal model for both businesses and customers alike.