In “The Big Problems Big Clients Can Create for Small Businesses,” Carol’s recent post on Bank of America’s Small Business Community, she shares some important considerations for small business owners working with enterprise clients.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be great over the long term, but in the near term, you may be floating that receivable for a looonnnggg time. Carol begins:
When you are a small company, signing a big, name-brand company may be a dream come true. Not only do big companies have bigger budgets than their smaller counterparts, but they add tremendous credibility and appeal to a small business’s client roster, potentially leading to more business.
However, this entrepreneurial dream can turn into a nightmare for businesses who aren’t well-versed in the work process of bigger corporations. Here are some of the issues to be prepared for before you solicit and agree to work with a big corporate client.
Lengthy and Detailed Vetting and Sell-cycle
First, it can take a long time to get through a big company’s approval process. There are many managers who may require approval, budget cycles to align with and more.
And just when you think you are finished, you’ve only just begun!
Second, major corporations are quite careful about protecting their reputations, so many have a thorough vetting process for each vendor to ensure they are not associated with any business that could become a public relations problem for them down the road.
Be prepared for a vetting that seems like a cross between the Spanish Inquisition and a TSA extended pat-down. This may include giving up sensitive information about your best clients, your revenue, how much your top clients account for in terms of revenue and even background on the executives.
You can read the rest of the post here.