In this age of huge multi-nationals, it can be easy to think that bigger is always better. So, when looking for a company to do business with, whether that’s as a supplier, a distributor or service provider, it can be easy to go straight to the flashy big guys in your industry. However, when you look at the day-to-day realities of a business, small businesses often offer a personalised experience, providing you with tailor-made solutions to suit your business needs, far better than any global corporation ever could.
Most small businesses exhibit a distinct set of identifying characteristics that set them apart from the bigger players in the market. There are various reasons why small businesses have a huge impact on the way you do business. Keep reading below to learn why you should consider doing business with a small company for your business needs.
1. Small businesses are Innovative
Small businesses are often at the forefront of innovation. They are open to trying new things, the pace is fast and being customer centric benefits their customers. Small businesses are well positioned to initiate and develop new ideas. They are not bogged down by hierarchy and with less red tape to cut through, the decision making is swift. If you are looking to convert your next idea into reality with a shorter time-to-market, then working with a small business is the way forward. Brainstorm, plan and execute your next project with a small business.
2. Small businesses are agile
Nimbleness and swiftness are two other characteristics of a small business. With agility at their core, small businesses have the distinct advantage of changing plans and business tactics much faster than the larger players. While larger organisation cannot adapt swiftly due to their sheer size, small businesses make this work for them and provide world class services, often tailored to your expectations and at great speed. While the biggies are still studying options and gaining approvals, you can have your product on the shelves!
3. Small businesses have small teams and open communication channels
Simplicity is one of the primary advantages small businesses have over larger organisations. A small business usually has a lean structure. Smaller teams mean fewer layers of management and the lean structure also means that every employee can be much closer to the business and the customer, fostering collaboration and in turn increasing customer satisfaction. Communication delays due to complex bureaucratic structures and several levels of management do not affect the customers of a small business. A small business owner can directly supervise operations and communicate freely with their suppliers and customers. Flexibility and adaptability are two key characteristics you will find in a small business.
Which brings us to our next point…
4. Small businesses are collaborative and offer personalised services
While larger corporations will probably have the resources with the right knowledge and some great services and packages, a small business can be a better fit with the ability to collaborate and tailor to your business needs. One of the most important factors in choosing
to do business with a small company is the partnership that you can build as you collaborate on business ideas. Employees at small operations are trained to cater to customer needs, talking through their exact requirements and moulding their offering, so that you get a much more practical and targeted solution for your business need. In my experience, customers and suppliers build better trust with businesses that offer them sincere personal attention.
5. Small businesses thrive on good relationships
Small businesses often share a uniquely genuine culture – they function like a family. Everyone works hard together, focuses on the same objectives and treats each other like family. When an employee is valued like family, they express positive energy which flows into all the relationships they touch. They desire to work harder for their company and customers. This is why every member of a small business typically has closer connections to their customers and marketplace. This translates into being more customer centric and further enhancing good relationships.
6. Small businesses are customer centric
Since small businesses typically have less customers than the big players, they often go above and beyond to add value to their customers. They understand the importance of being close to the customers and its impact on the overall business. Employees of small businesses have more time to meet with their clients, they meet often and spend time in knowing their customer needs well. Small businesses are better than big corporates at anticipating needs, foreseeing problems, providing tailor-made solutions, handling complaints, requesting feedback, following up and showing appreciation. It’s a win-win for both the business as well as the customer; happy customers translate to a profitable business.
7. Small businesses create jobs and provide great work environments
Yes, the perks are many when working for the biggies, but when it comes to real job satisfaction, no one can beat a small business. In a small business, employees get noticed faster for their contributions, team spirit is huge and the autonomy adds to the overall health of the business. Employees of a small business are creative and wear many hats in the business. All this translates to a better work environment, higher achievement and better service to the customers.
8. Small business owners are hardworking, gutsy, honest, ethical ….
And the list goes on….. Owners of small businesses work tirelessly and put in really long hours to see their dream come true. Many of the small business owners are usually experts in their fields before they branch out to begin their own business. They take courageous decisions, they are honest and ethical in their practice, they are deeply involved in all their relations with customers and suppliers, they are unique in their offerings and they stay invested in their business. They are an inspiration to all those small businesses who are looking to enter the market with their new ideas. Small business owners are fiercely optimistic. They have the drive, an unfailing belief in themselves and patience to persevere despite setbacks.
9. Small businesses are proactive
Being proactive allows small businesses to stay one step ahead of the game. They place great emphasis on forward-thinking strategies and constantly analyse the business situation for signs of future change, manage problems, continuously improve and increase their performance. Small businesses make the “size” factor work for them and pivot swiftly enhancing their customer service, productivity, efficiency and work environments. They do not play the waiting game for circumstances to command their actions, they change long before risks emerge. This in turn proves to be cost-effective since they save money that can be used to lower their prices, further increasing their competitiveness.
10. Small businesses are approachable and fun
And the biggest advantage – Small businesses are just a whole lot of fun to work with. Instead of always catering to shareholders, they focus on their customers, partners and suppliers and ensure they are all a happy bunch. Their tailor-made approach, agility, focus on relationship, proactiveness and humbleness make them more approachable and genuine. Doesn’t everyone want to feel at home while doing business? The casual approach, the comfortable ambience makes it such a great place to be in.
After reading this article, aren’t you excited to do business with a small business? If you are in the market for a new partnership or to start a new business relationship, ignore the flashy big guys, and give a shot to a smaller business – both of you will benefit from the association.
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Brendan works as a Product Manager at Quiddity, an amazing workflow and customer relationship management tool for small businesses. He has a passion for design and problem solving and loves to share knowledge and collaborate with others.