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Published 01 October 2012 04:59, Updated 03 October 2012 05:30
Size doesn’t matter, especially when it comes to Australian small businesses that are able to deliver on their promises and provide superior value to their larger competitors.
More than 80 per cent of the SMEs on the BRW Fast Starters work with large national and multinational corporations. However, it is their size and their subsequent ability to make quick decisions, act decisively and deliver niche skills that makes them attractive to big business.
Going after the big clients takes tenacity, self-belief and the right skills, Thomas Duryea co-founder and chief executive Andrew Thomas says. Thomas, who started the IT company with three university friends in 2000, says it is important for companies to understand their speciality and only pitch for jobs they are capable of delivering.
In 2004, when the then-small business pitched for the Australian business of a multinational IT virtualisation company, it was almost laughed out of the boardroom.
“After our meeting, the manager called to say that we couldn’t do what they needed us to do. He said there was no hope,” he says.
So Thomas and his team approached an existing customer, told them about the technology and its potential to save them money. “We basically told them we could take these 30 servers you have in your business and reduce the number to three.” When the customer showed interest in the technology, Thomas Duryea then re-approached the multinational and said: “We have secured a customer for you.”
“They were quite shocked I think,” Thomas says. “At that time we were a small team working from a garage in Richmond.”
Like any business or customer relationship, trust is paramount, Duryea says. By being honest, available and passionate, big companies are more likely to do business with smaller, lesser known players. The company now has turnover of $60 million.
Here are five tips for dealing with the big guns:
BRW will provide more tips on how to win over big business in the coming weeks