Small Business or Small Minded Business?

Many of us will use the words “Small Business” during our day. When I talk to potential clients, I’ll say things like “Yes, I deal with small businesses” or “Yes, this server is suitable for a small business just like yours”.

The term “Small Business” is a good way of describing the size of a business in terms of the number of employees, or perhaps turnover, but it’s a poor way to describe the ‘approach’ of a given organisation.

I’m a professional. I’ve worked for a few large and very well-known national businesses. I have clients that are now part of global businesses and have to work within their guidelines. I know what it is to work as a small cog in a large corporate wheel. I know the benefits of the big business approach.

As our own business grows I’ve been thinking about what the differences are between ‘small’ and ‘large’ businesses. The connotations can be negative. We’ve all had to deal with large organisations that’ll put you on hold for 30 minutes. When you call is eventually answered, the agent at the other end of the phone often has no power to help you even if he or she can understand you.

The smaller organisation will often give you a personal service which these less personal organisations aren’t geared up to offer. Call a small business and you’ll more than likely be talking to someone that is sitting within a dozen metres of the head honcho.

Of course larger organisations can often be trusted to deliver a consistent quality of service, more so than the smaller business. Dare I give an example…. BT. I think the service you get from them can be entirely awful at times, but the reliability of the telephone network and the expertise of the engineers that come and fix your phone lines are second to none. I trust them to install and deliver services to me, because they do a great job, and they do it consistently.

But when it comes to offering a given level of expertise and professionalism, it should not mean that service suffers. Both are important, and both can be offered by all sizes of organisations.

I’m not really sure how to put this succinctly, but I believe my own business should help your business in three ways.

  • First, we should give you a personal, responsive and flexible service.
  • Second, we should be open, honest and trusting.
  • Third, we should offer the same level of professionalism and expertise to you that those larger business benefit from.

I remember that some of the largest companies in the world ‘got big’ by ‘behaving big’ and I think that is to be applauded, but I know too that we’re only growing because we give good service.

I hope you’ll return the favour by letting us know if we lose our way.