This may be a little bit of a switch from talking about exercise, stress reduction, and health & wellness, but we promise these are all related to the local economy as well.
As mentioned previously on this site, financial burdens are top factors contributing to stress, especially in the modern age. We are now seeing a push towards businesses that “run themselves”, decreasing the human interaction. Moreover, large businesses push for efficiency. This makes sense from a profitable perspective, but unfortunately, it is detrimental to health and wellness more often than not.
One of the main reason a highly efficient and automated business model that maximizes profit margins can be detrimental to an individuals health is simply because of a lack of product quality. We recognize this isn’t always the case, but often times a cheaper product is also a worse product.
One great example of this are pre-packaged meals. Although the food items found in these meals can often be considered healthy, particularly if there is a high proportion of vegetables, the products aren’t always fresh. More importantly, often times preservatives, chemicals, and other synthetic or unhealthy ingredients are added into the product for enhanced taste and shelf life. The good thing is there are a lot of companies out there trying to address this issue by making healthy meals easier.
So why do consumers buy into this model?
The answer is simple: affordability. Consumers, myself included, often look for cheap products that offer good bang for your buck. If you can get the same amount of food for half the price at Store A compared to Store B, chances are you are going to buy from Store A, even if it’s apparent that the quality of Store A’s product isn’t at the same level as Store B. I’ve been guilty of this multiple time.
Even further, larger companies tend to have more funds for marketing and advertising than small businesses. If you are constantly exposed to the same product, or a product is so standardized that you know exactly what you’re getting every time, you may be more likely to choose that item, simply because you know more about it.
This is where all other members of the community become key. Small local businesses that don’t operate on a large scale may not have the expendable funds to market or advertise their products. When this is the case, word of mouth becomes extremely important. The more consumers that have heard good things about a small business’s product, the more likely it is that business will be successful.
On the flip side, you have the perspective of the small business. It can be difficult for a business to know what the consumers want if there is a disconnect. Given the business is the one selling the product, it would be unrealistic to expect customers to actively walk in the door and provide feedback, especially if they don’t know the business exists.
Therefore, it is extremely important for a small business to be involved in the local community. Whether it’s supporting local events, providing free samples at local venues, or even the classic door-to-door advertising, having everyone in the community on the same page can help everyone be successful.
Summary – Where does health and wellness come in?
If health and wellness is important to a particular community, small businesses can cater to this preference by being involved and close with the residents. Similarly, if residents recognize this as being important, they can call for action from local businesses to maintain products that promote living well. With a strong community, it is more likely there will be a strong local economy. This benefits everyone, and if financial burden is reduced, so is stress.