We have all been there. Dealing with a big company can have its challenges. If you are in the IT Telecom space you have a network of suppliers that you rely on for hardware, software, installation, break-fix, operations and so forth – almost no company delivers 100% of what they sell. In order to deliver service to your end customer you need subcontractors to complete your offer. So, who do you turn to and why?
Option A: The big guys: Lots of companies like to do business with “name brand” suppliers for several reasons but mainly because:
- Company X (any name you like here) is “known” internally within your organization. When you look to get approval for your project internally you don’t have to explain who X is.
- In theory you won’t get fired for picking Company X… “everybody picks X”
But, if you have been around for a while you know that some big companies can be slow to respond and expensive. Requests, such as getting a quote may require forms to be filled out, submissions of those forms, and follow up with the SPOC Company X has assigned to you. They may be slow and expensive because they have lots of people, lots of fragmented groups and a lack of single ownership over any one discipline.
Option B: Certified Small Businesses: The refreshing part about a small company is they act like they want your business because in fact they do! These are not employees punching a time clock working for a boss they don’t like… the people at a small company want to be there and they want your business. That attitude comes through on all aspects of dealing with them.
The 5 reasons for dealing with a small company are:
- Quick. They are lightening fast. Need a quick turn on a quote? It can be done because the person quoting the work is either a decision maker or has easy access to them.
- Accessibility. With a small company you have access to the owner, general manager, president or Sr. VP at most any time.
- Low prices. Limited or no HR departments, finance departments, vendor management departments and so on. Also the margin targets are much lower with a lot less overhead.
- Speed to Deploy. Deployment of engineers, project managers and others once the order is received is almost immediate. A small company can handle a change any time and adapt accordingly. Just document the change and move on with limited red tape or back-office processes.
- Quality. Small businesses thrive on delivering quality service. Referrals are key to the success of a small business because they don’t have huge marketing departments and advertising budgets. High customer satisfaction is critical and the way to achieve that is with quality service and support.
You can be a very small fish in a very big pond with company X or you can be a very important customer and an important fish in a smaller pond with a certified small company.