I’ve always been a small business lover at heart. Even when I’m cold calling or cold emailing, I make sure to pay special attention to those small businesses because they’re my bread and butter. Sure they have their difficulties–negative cash flow, unrealistic expectations, not realizing they are hiring you to work instead of being their buddy. But I’ve experienced these problems with big companies, too. And there are just some things that only really happen when I’m dealing with the little guys:
I get people who are grateful.
Maybe this is just my ego talking but it’s nice to be appreciated. Sure, I enjoy a business relationship that let’s me know exactly what to expect because the point of contact does this every day with several other contractors. But, when someone gushes over my work or is just happy that I’m helping them get to where they need to be it gives me a nice warm feeling inside.
I get to voice my opinion.
A lot of my corporate clients know exactly what they want. This is because they have had meetings with their superiors and their superiors’ superiors. There’s been a focus group and six months of research on the various effects the wording may have. And basically, they just want what they want. With small business owners, I’m often talking to someone who actually needs to rely on my experience and therefore pays attention when I talk.
I get to facilitate someone’s dream.
A dream is a beautiful thing. I love when I see someone just trying to make something amazing happen. And while my corporate clients often have great products and services, it’s different than a guy who is hoping to change his family’s life with something he came up with in the shower. When I work with small businesses, I often get to see a dream born and flourish.
I get way more referrals.
When I work with big companies, I sometimes get referrals, especially if my point of contact has moved to another company. But when I work with small businesses, I usually get a few referrals from each client. That’s because small business owners often network with other small business owners, sharing experiences and tips. I answered a Craigslist ad early in my freelancing career to do a small gig for guy starting a business. Over the years, I’ve received 40 or so referrals as well as repeat business from him.
I get to help another small business out.
I’m a small business myself. I have one employee and my revenue doesn’t rival larger communications companies. Small businesses are everywhere and we have to stick together when we can.