Another Business Going Under

So this week I finally heard what I had been expecting for some time–that Four Paws & Tail will be going out of business.

It is official and the sign is up.

This business is not the first, nor the last, to disappear from the valley.

When I first arrived into the valley many of the other business owners told me that they would wait a year to see if I would make it before they would do business with me.

I was dumbfounded.

That was in 1988 and today I understand just why they were making such an idiotic comment about supporting new businesses.

Basically what they were saying was that they wanted to make sure I’d still be around in the future since many new businesses open up but then due to under capitalization, failure to research the market up here, and lack of business planning–go under.

Not too long ago a business sent me an email wanting me to spent at least $50 per month at one local establishment. That business owner has never supported my work (nor answered any of my requests when I’ve asked for her help) but never hesitates to ask for my support.

So I thought the request was a bit cheeky as well as a bit naive.

Because to get local money you really have to earn. Plus, in this market competition is fierce.

Recently, I went into a business that I had not visited in some time. It had changed location and it doesn’t look like the new one is working out too well.

It isn’t that I don’t like the business or would not support it but the new location is in an area I seldom travel.

Also, it is not a destination business where locals will go out of their way to drop by.

Once inside, I noticed that the inventory is down, and although the clerk knows me (and has not seen me for a while) she spent the entire time in the back office–instead of asking me if I needed help–or even asking as to why I had been so scarce.

When I checked (twice) she was not doing anything constructive.

If I am going to spend three times the amount I would have spent elsewhere on the same products–I expect a bit better customer service.

Alas, it probably doesn’t matter now and the following week I took my money elsewhere.

Why? Because I can–and by the looks of things– it looks like others have done the same.

This is in contrast to another business I patronize.

When I had a problem with the end result, I contacted the owner and he made an adjustment for me–and then didn’t charge me for his effort.

I fully expected to pay but he understands the value of a customer and their referrals.

Guess what? In these times his business is doing well. It is one of the few that is growing while also still keeping his established customer base.

Back to the pet industry on this mountain…I remember when we had a feed store and no pet stores at all.

Now that Four Paws is closing we will still have four remaining pet and feed stores and my question to you is this–do you know where they are and their names?

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5 Responses to “Another Business Going Under

  • 1
    June 11th, 2009 15:35

    This does not suprise me. I had asked for them to order me up somethig or a pet of mine that was ill, and they could not have cared less. Also, the prices they charge or groomig was outrageous. Another one bites the dust…

  • 2
    June 12th, 2009 07:06

    I am always sad to learn of a business that is forced to close. It then becomes the end of someones dream.

    However, I could not agree with you more when you refer to mutual support.

    As a long time business owner in the valley, I have developed a sense of resentment towards a number of locals, and organizations.
    As an example, I am tired of hearing that ALL businesses over charge. This is simply NOT true. What IS true is some businesses, REGARDLESS of their location, over price their services.
    And yet our locals will drive 100 miles round trip to support them.
    Some businesses, simply are forced to take a slightly higher mark-up to make the same percentage of profit as their competition in other places. When the cost of living remains the same, and a limited number of residents are available, profit needs to start somewhere. If all merchants were to reduce their prices 50% to be lower than off the hill stores, the results would be the same. They would go out of business.
    Second, I, along with many other businesses are sick of the groups and individuals, that are forever requesting help for their most favorite need. We used to give to all that asked, but most never returned to spend their money, or brought a visitor to do the same. When on rare occasion, they did purchase, they want a discount.
    Now, we, along with others stop to think can we really afford to continue giving.
    Perhaps while these locals are down the hill spending money, they should ask those merchants for a donation and an additional discount.

  • 3
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    June 13th, 2009 08:31

    Yes, it is sad when a business closes. I have found that many organizations continue to plague supportive businesses over and over again without pushing reciprocal efforts (read “spending”) back to those businesses. Most of the local businesses are very generous but there comes a point when you have to say no.

    Not all businesses over charge. However some do not understand markup and buying leverage–which is a shame. I’d much rather shop at a mom and pop store and pay more than spend funds in a box store.

    I also find it many of the local specials biased and ridiculous. Buyer incentives are good and I always appreciate when a business surprises me with a discount or extra service–or even a drink or desert as thanks for patronage, coverage of their business.

    Reciprocity is a two way street but to make it work–there has to be an equal exchange instead of just a one sided effort.

  • 4
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    June 13th, 2009 08:42

    @Cricket: It is sad to see any business go under but you are right–it matters whether or not the business pays attention. I am often stunned when some of the businesses that I patronize can actually tell me how long it has been since I have been in. Or worse, when I don’t show up and they know something is wrong!

    I quit going in and found that my referrals were often sold the wrong product or wrong sized device. With a little bit of attention and customer service they probably would have had more repeat clients but my referrals moved on to more savvy and interested pet businesses instead.

  • 5
    June 14th, 2009 08:44

    As a BBL for more then 40 + years, I have certainly seen businesses come and go. That’s why when you find one that offers reasonable prices, and actually can answer questions about the products they sell, or will order something if they don’t carry it…. I like to give credit to those owners and their employees. Bear Valley Feed and Supply is that business……..They are on the highway next to the ‘Fish Locker’ ( also owned by the same owners) I have known the owners for years and they have definately been a big asset to our community. Thanks for being there when I need you!