As a small business – indeed home based – provider of coaching and social media consulting services, I doubt I’m unique in feeling sometimes that I am at a disadvantage in competing against bigger companies, with more people, deeper pockets, big brands, often with “incumbency rights” with clients I would like to have.

So today, reading an article in Computerworld Feb 6, I read something that resonated.

William ‘whurley’ Hurley, from software company BMC talking.

When you go to a customer, they don’t see project A and project B, and the Big 4 and Little 4 as competitors. They see them as choices, so you really have to put yourself in that customer mind-set.

And of course, anyone who has ever worked in or dealt with a large organization – i.e. each of us – knows that big organizations are not always better at providing what the customer wants for their particular, current need.

Photo by jpsdq

Nor is it simply an either/or, big or small question. Where size or ability to scale are needed it will often make sense for home based, solo service providers to form strategic alliances or buy into a franchise that allows them to still offer the personal service some customers will still be looking for.

Some new mantras:

  • I’m not a solo service provider, I’m a choice
  • They’re not competitors, they’re choices
  • Really listening to what the customer wants is working smarter, not harder

Any tips or mantras you would like to add?