I don’t want to seem like some sort of unquestioning fanboy for Seth Godin’s Blog, but the guy hits the nail on the head so squarely sometimes that you can only sit back and admire. In Should small businesses whine?, Godin points out that people are happy to do business with small suppliers – but these have to differentiate themselves from the big ones, and provide tangible benefits.
Duh, you may say, of course they have to. But are they making the most of that? If your competitors are bigger than you, what are you offering that they can’t? And are you focusing on that in your marketing? Conversely, if you’re the big daddy of the market, why are some customers going to smaller companies? Is it really impossible, with your resources, to offer what they’re offering?