Someone asked me this week if working with small businesses was just a stop gap until I could find some bigger clients? My reply? Hell no! The fact is I have chosen to target small businesses, individual business owners and in some cases, sole traders. That is the niche I elected to pursue, and I don’t rule out targeting an even smaller niche yet.
Marketing starts with customers. Working out what they need or want and then providing that, ideally for a profit. Small business owners know their business and more importantly know their customers, sometimes even on a personal level. As a marketer it does not get any better than that. Small business owners have the freedom to make decisions quickly, they can respond to change rapidly and frankly are usually more than willing to listen to advise and admit when they need help.
Big companies spend thousands trying to understand their customers and are often still none the wiser or worse, do what they wanted to do anyway. Big businesses must consult heads of departments, various echelons of management and perhaps even shareholders to sanction change. It can be like turning an oil tanker around. By the time anything is decided the opportunity is missed and the ship has sailed.
I’ve worked with and for big companies and met some lovely and very talented people within the corporations. Without exception these great assests became ultimately frustrated with lack of autonomy to make decisions to get things happening, and demoralized by the bureaucracy required to get something as simple as a press release approved in a timely fashion. Most now work for themselves – what does that tell you?
And as for the myth that bigger businesses have bigger budgets? Please, show me any business that throws money around these days (aside from corporate bonuses, but that’s a rant for another day!).
I’m very happy working with the top decision-makers in tiny enterprises. Small is most definitely more beautiful.