Black and white photography, customer service differentiate small businesses

04/22/2014 12:33 PM

04/22/2014 12:35 PM

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small-business owners what differentiates their products or services from their competition. This is what they said.

• “People hire me for my traditional black and white portrait photography,” said Doug Van de Zande, owner of Van de Zande Photography in downtown Raleigh. “Most portraits are done digitally now, but my customers appreciate the quality of film and darkroom prints, which digital images can’t match. They know the difference and are willing to pay a little extra for it.”
• “Our customer service is far and away better than most antique shops in the area,” said Jenny Sellars, co-owner of SuzAnna’s Antiques in Raleigh. “We keep a wish book of customers wants and have called people up to five years later upon finding that something special they were looking for.”
• “I provide a unique service that no one else in the Triangle does,” said Laurel Archer, owner and teacher at Cary Tutor, a tutoring company that helps groups and individuals who need help with English and French. “My wide range of experience helps people feel comfortable at any age.”
• “What differentiates us from the rest of them is our thinking out of the box attitude,” said David Bogart, owner of Sign Scientist, a Raleigh marketing firm and sign shop. “We’re not a ‘quickie sticky’ sign shop. We’re real live artists who happen to have technical knowledge of how to get the job done correctly and within budget.”

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