SMEs and large businesses

We heard it said this afternoon (UK-China Sustainable Urbanisation Conference) that SMEs need large businesses to help them find work. I have a different perspective, born of twenty years’ experience in creating and running an SME, Space Syntax.

First, not all small companies want to become large companies. Bigger is not always better, yet this is the conventional wisdom. Small companies are agile. Large companies are often slow and conservative.

Second, small companies help large companies find work. It doesn’t only work the other way round. My company regularly introduces large companies – some of the largest in our industry – to new opportunities.

Of course small companies benefit from the strength of large companies. But don’t let’s think the large companies are doing us a favour. Far from it.

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