Many small business owners are doubtful about dealing with large enterprises. They’re vulnerable in comparison and often worry about getting taken advantage of. After all, why would a multimillion-dollar corporation want to work with a small start-up?
In fact, there are a good few reasons to suggest why a corporation-start-up relationship is beneficial for both parties.
Working with large businesses and enterprises is essential for small businesses to thrive in today’s competitive markets.
Why would enterprises want to work with start-ups?
- Large enterprises often reach a peak and become static in motion. As they build and develop their business in one particular location, it is difficult to expand past a particular point. Therefore, building a partnership with start-ups that have the potential to replicate the large company’s strategy, provides them with valuable access to additional areas.
- Smaller companies have lower operating costs, are more flexible in meeting requirements and can pump out new products faster than enterprises. The bureaucracy and lengthy approval chains that affect innovation in large corporations are a non-issue for small businesses.
- As a result, dealing with small businesses to acquire a product or service is often cheaper for enterprises than building it in-house. This strategy is commonly used today among corporations like Oracle and Google, with the latter merging with over 200 startups since 2001.
- Enterprises may also lack the technical nitty-gritty required to build a solution, to fill a gap in the market. This is where you’ll see both sides reap the benefits of having access to one another’s information. While the enterprise receives assistance from a team who can work on one issue, quickly and efficiently. The start-up can gain access to the thoughts and processes used in an entire corporation, giving them insight and allowing them to create solutions for the problems which they otherwise, wouldn’t have known existed.
- Partnering with a large corporation grants small business access to resources and connections that accelerate your growth, which in turn can give you the opportunity to invest in your business through various different options, such as SME loans.
So, what are the factors that influence the success of large enterprise deals?
First Impressions Matter
You wouldn’t work with a business that has zero information online. So, ensure the face of your business is crisp and clean with concise execution. This will undoubtedly catch the attention of large enterprises – in a positive way.
Regardless of the industry you’re operating in, having an online presence, with functioning social media channels is one of the most important factors. It is likely to be here that you’ll establish the initial contact with corporations.
At the very least, your business should possess:
- A branded (.com) domain
- A simple, modern website design that adapts to mobile devices
- Basic information on your website (e.g. your company profile, contact details, office addresses)
- A local Google listing which is done through Google My Business
- Active accounts on social media channels.
- Once you’ve got the basics down, it’s time to get knocking on the doors of these enterprises.
Build Yourself as a Thought Leader in the Industry
Obviously, your reputation is an unequivocal deal breaker. Very well known corporations won’t put their brand at risk to take on a partnership with a start-up who has a questionable past. As a director of a small business, take any opportunity to attend events. Network and establish a positive name for yourself and your business. This will attract the most innovative of thought leaders and consequently place your business in high regard.
The best part is, you don’t have to spend a single cent to establish yourself as a thought leader today—start with inbound marketing.
Guest posting for industry-specific publications is one of the best inbound marketing techniques to deliver value to prospects and improve reputation. Business leaders who engage with your posts are more likely to trust your brand, making it easier to connect.
It’s recommended to complement online publications along with participating in industry events like expos and summits. Becoming a speaker at industry events is a foolproof way to meet new people, many of whom are looking for solutions to their business problems which brings us to the next point.
Offer Solutions, Not Products
Enterprises often choose solutions based on two things: does it cut down operating costs and does it help gain profit?
Your pitch to business executives should always revolve around a solution, never your product. Your solution should answer these key points:
- What business value does your offering provide to the enterprise?
- Are you solving a real pain point?
- Why should they work with you?
By solving their problems, it makes it easier for you to land that lucrative enterprise contract. You can achieve this by providing value and becoming an integral partner for the business, not just another vendor.
For example; if you own a software development company, talk about how your team can provide custom-tailored solutions to improve and automate any business operation. This targets the needs of the enterprise directly, making it more likely for you to close deals.
In order to solve the large corporation’s most pressing issues, you need to understand how their industry works, uncover their pain points, and figure out how the pain points are affecting their business. All these insights can be achieved through researching and listening to your prospects, be it through meetings or discovery calls.
Be Proactive in Cold Outreaches
Inbound marketing must be implemented with outbound sales to build more connections. This means more cold calls and emails to decision-makers in large corporations which—contrary to popular belief—is thought to be more effective than ever today.
Ideally, your outreach should be targeted to decision-makers who can benefit from the value proposition of your solution. If you’re selling payroll software, don’t pitch the CEO. Look for someone in the HR department instead, they’ll overlook employee pay and scheduling.
Don’t go out sending email blasts with zero personalization efforts. That is a surefire way to burn bridges and end up in blacklists—never a good thing for a business just starting out.
Don’t Be Afraid of Working with Enterprises
Just because your business is starting out, it doesn’t mean you have to work with small clients only.
Working with enterprises and corporate clients has been proven time and time again to be beneficial for small business growth.
Doing so gives you a major advantage over your rivals, and there’s no better time to start pitching enterprises than today with the help of the tips mentioned above.
This article was written by content creator, Ashley Wilson. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.