Would you use an SMB over a big brand company? If you’re undecided, please read on and hopefully I can help you decide.
As a member of WEConnect International, I am lucky enough to often get the opportunity to meet with other Women Owned businesses and their leaders. Most recently I had lunch with Mindy Gibbins-Klein FRSA and enjoyed a one-to-one with her to find out more about what each of us does and how we might benefit one another’s businesses.
I wanted to write this article to highlight the importance of getting to know others from your business network better, as most often, it turns out they do things you hadn’t considered. Although Mindy and I met some time ago via WEConnect, true to this theory, we’d never really spent quality time talking about our businesses and about who our customers are and how we make them happy.
As a Thought Leader Coach and Publisher, Mindy was kind enough to show me her wide selection of books that she’s published for her clients. (If you’re an entrepreneur and have considered writing a book, Mindy should definitely be your first port of call). Before we met I had already read Mindy’s own book, The Thoughtful Leader, on thought leadership, which was really inspiring (you can get a copy here: http://amzn.to/2yoyJNL ) You can also find out more about thought leadership by visiting Mindy’s website where you’ll find some great resources http://www.mindygk.com/
Whilst getting to know one another better, Mindy and I talked about why businesses sometimes choose the ‘DIY’ approach and avoid hiring a consultant or an external supplier.
Despite our businesses being completely different in what they provide, we discovered our customers sometimes choose to carry out projects themselves. Sometimes they think it’ll be cheaper (although it never tends to be in the long run), or if they DO choose to select an external agency or branded supplier, they tend to choose a bigger brand because it makes them feel safe and clear of any blame if things DO go wrong. But these approaches often don’t work out – here are some examples of the pitfalls:
The ‘it’s too expensive, we will do this ourselves with contractors or through recruitment’ pitfalls:
- Project delivery management fails due to lack of process
- Ineffective collaborative working within the team due to lack of knowledge and skills, jeopardising results, timing and budget
- Lack of skills or not a broad enough skillset in the existing team can cause a lack of innovation during the design process. For example, if you have 10 years’ experience in the same job role in the same business, is it really worth the same as 10 years’ experience working for 30 different businesses? Which is more pertinent for your needs?
So with these pitfalls, we find ourselves not where we expecting; we’ve gone over budget, the project is late, its under-specified and isn’t scalable. Our ‘cheaper’ alternative all of a sudden… Isn’t.
As an SMB, IT consultant, Evolve develop bespoke solutions; we do this by always taking the time to understand the customers’ requirements in terms of the people, process and technology. Evolve design and develop the solution whilst working very closely throughout with the customer. We continuously test and integrate, and then we hand over, support and maintain the production environment, providing an unrivalled end-to-end service.
The ‘choosing a big brand’ pitfalls:
You are unlikely to get fired for choosing a big brand to help you deliver a project, but you are unlikely to get the flexibility and skills that you do benefit from when working with an SMB who delivers a fully rounded service by partnering with other businesses. For example, Evolve partner with IOT providers, Managed Service Providers and Communication Specialists which enables us to provide better prices through lower costs, and it also means we can bring in specialist partners when we need them depending on the project.
The bottom line? Consider an SMB for your next project – just because a brand is bigger, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better.
If you’ve got a project you’d like to discuss, please do get in touch on 0116 2987460 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org