This brilliant post by Seth Godin applies to many industries/sectors.
Think in terms of your own gig while you are reading it.
I know why I never marched to the beat of the fashion industry drum with my brand Betty Belts.
I never really believed in the status quo.
As one who grew up in a fashion retail family I can only agree with this thesis. In an economy that is seeing negative growth and may be facing deflation, the problems detailed can only tend toward worse. There’s also another issue for small suppliers/large retailers, in that they may find themselves in a bubble. Eg, say you get the ‘big’ order you may have coveted. You need to ramp up beyond you normal business rhythm; increase credit or tap savings, push the people that make your goods, to meet this sudden demand. The risk with large retailers, aside from not getting paid on time ( and knocked-off ), is that, in their context, you may hot one season and not the next.
Small business, I believe, is really about a very genuine relationship with the people you do business with and the very special magic/TLC you bring to the game. As my dad used to say, it’s not so much about numbers but about imagination. For every larger retailer there are a thousand family owned small retailers – no lawyers needed.