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Logan City

David vs Goliath

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Our local businesses are becoming more and more impersonal as time moves forward. Locally-owned businesses that care about their customers are fast being replaced by large corporations.

The hardware sector has long been dominated by big-named brands like Bunnings. We take a look at the story of Browns Plains Hardware, one locally-owned store in the sea of impersonal superstores.

While Browns Plains Hardware is locally owned, it isn’t independent. It has always been a part of the Independent Hardware Group, giving them the benefit of buying power – they can get their stock at a reasonable price, and sell it on to their customers at competitive prices.

However, when their larger competitors spend more money on marketing in a month than Browns Plains Hardware makes in a decade, how can they compete?

Paul Charlton, the owner of Browns Plains Hardware, believes the secret to success lies in customer service.

When a customer comes into Browns Plains Hardware, the first goal is to solve their problem, not sell them the most expensive item.

“I recently had a guy come in looking to spend about $100 on some plumbing items,” Paul stated. “I talked with him about what he was trying to achieve and figured that his $100 idea wasn’t going to do the job, and actually sent him home with the knowledge to fix his problem for free. He came back later that day with a 6 pack as thanks for solving his problem and saving him money.”

This isn’t your conventional sales tactics – in fact, it goes against most sales advice anyone would give. But Paul and his family have been in the business long enough to know that an impeccable reputation and fantastic customer service is the key to success in any business.

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Madeline McCulloch
Madeline McCulloch
Editorial Team
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