Mick Haensler

If I Had A Hammer

Let’s say one day you find yourself in need of a hammer. Problem is you’ve never owned a hammer much less used one. So you go to the hammer store and there before you is a plethora of hammers. Big hammers, little hammers, metal ones, fiberglass ones….you get the picture. As you stand before this magnificent display the hammer guy comes up and says”

HAMMERGUY: “May I help you sir/ma’am

YOU: Yes, I need a hammer

HAMMERGUY: Well you’ve come to the right place! As you can see, we have a LOT of hammers. What will you be doing with your hammer??

YOU: Hammer stuff

HAMMERGUY: I see, then you probably need this all purpose, very expensive hammer right here. Perfect for a variety of hammering!

YOU: Yeah, that sounds like exactly what I need

HAMMERGUY: Cash or charge?

Much like the hammer guy, most companies just want to sell you a hammer and be done with you. They really don’t care if it’s the right hammer or if you even know how to use it. They want to sell you a hammer….period. Now let’s look at a different experience. One your grandparents are familiar with. This time, let’s take your hammer needs to the local hardware store.

HARDWARE STORE GUY: Hey John what can I do you for today

YOU: I need a hammer

HARDWARE STORE GUY: What are you going to be hammering?

YOU: Nails

HARDWARE STORE GUY: What kind of nails and into what?

YOU: Little nails, to hang pictures on, HEY!! This one looks awesome!!

HARDWARE STORE GUY: Whoa there cowboy, if all you’re doing is hanging some pictures, that’s gonna be a bit overkill. This one over here will get the job done nicely. Have you ever done this before??

YOU: Nope!

HARDWARE STORE GUY: You’re in luck, tomorrow night we have a free picture hanging class, if you can’t make it, we’ll be posting it on our website as well. If you have any questions afterward, feel free to give us a call, we’ll be happy to help.

Local hardware stores are thriving despite the big box home improvement stores and for good reason. They offer something the others can’t and won’t. Once they tackled the price issue by forming coops under a trusted national header like Ace Hardware, They could return to focusing on what they do best, helping their neighbors.