Several years ago, an “intergalactic” firm approached me about them wanting to purchase my firm. Their firm was and is a very reputable firm, with offices all over the globe and an impressive client list. So we went through the typical awkward dance firms go through while entertaining an acquisition.
During this process, I casually mentioned that we had wireless Internet service in our conference room if any of them needed to check e-mail while they were visiting. They looked at each other, dumbfounded, then looked back at me and asked, out loud, “How is it that you have wireless in your conference room and we don’t?” That’s when I knew this deal wasn’t going to happen.
Not that the lack of a wireless-enabled conference room is a reason to walk away from a deal, but that a huge, multinational firm with deep pockets and seemingly limitless resources didn’t have something that our little firm already did. We were floored that we, as small as we were, were ahead of a firm that, to me, could have been ahead of anyone at any time on just about anything they wanted.
From that moment on, I looked at little firms differently. And I realized that small is a competitive advantage. I understood that being a niche player in a big market with lots of large competitors could actually be profitable. And with a handful of trends converging at once (virtualization, outsourcing and specialization chief among them), I could see that it is the small firms that have the most to gain in a rapidly shrinking world.
In the years since that meeting, our firm has continued to compete and succeed. I’ll share our experience at the upcoming Counselors Academy Spring Conference in May.
I’ve already been assured the conference room has WiFi.
Jason Anthoine, APR, is head honcho at The Cohesion Group, the workplace communications firm that transforms employees from tired and bored to inspired and on-board. He has more than 19 year’s experience in workplace communications and has concentrated his entire career on this specialty.
Join Anthoine for his Breakout Set titled Small is The New Big: Turning Your Firm’s Size into a Competitive Advantage, at the PRSA Counselors Academy 2008 Spring Conference, Survival of the Fleetest: Anticipate. Adapt. Act. in Naples, Florida, Sunday, May 18 – Tuesday, May 20, 2008! Click here to register.