Our Counter Insurgent discusses why indies are underrated

Counter Insurgent: Trade bodies should be doing more for independent retailers

It’s time for an association that will focus on indie computer shops, help them improve and tackle the day-to-day challenges. I understand they already exist, but it seems they are no longer interested in us.

Us indie shops are heavily underrated, but are actually more valuable to the industry then you may think. We are the first port of call when someone needs help. Nobody wants to “send a ticket” to a faceless business that can’t cater for them – and where will these customers go when all of us become MSPs?

Not only have these organisations forgotten us, but they have now become utterly sales driven; it seems they are only interested in encouraging us to employ a slew of tricks to inflate our profit margins via products and now the cloud.

This is akin to the Stone Age salesmen still selling variations of a square wheel as opposed to the innovative round one. Where has innovation gone for Pete’s sake? They are constantly encouraging us to move to the latest fad. And if we don’t follow suit, we are snubbed by our peers for not being a “serious business”.

A buying group stated it is interested in members who make £1 million each year, don’t they understand for most of us this may not be possible or sustainable? And to label us as “not serious” or a “lifestyle” business is downright patronising. I now see a lot of distributors and vendors popping up at these trade body events, who from a distance appear to be a fellow member.

Where has the transparency and neutrality gone? Maybe they need them to pay for all the pretentious hoopla they boast about. There is no room for the humble shopkeeper anymore.

The spirit in which these organisations were once created has long since faded away. We are passionate, creative individuals with personalities that make us unique, unlike some who are now unengaged office-based workers who have no interest in what they are doing or selling. No more shall we stand for this rubbish – it’s time for a new body.

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