While size shouldn’t matter, and a small but enticing partner may hook you in with the promise that you’ll be a big fish in a small pond, that’s not a sound strategy from a client perspective.
Why? For starters, all service businesses are focused on their pipeline. And small partners especially can’t afford to have a gap between finishing one job and starting the next. While this is sound business practice to ensure cashflow, it also means that if they’re required to start a new project while still working on yours, they usually can’t afford to turn away the opportunity, and need to share out their key people between projects. While that’s fine if they have enough people, it’s tough to manage multiple projects with limited resources. And it’s not great to be on the receiving end of a depleted project team.
Small partners also feel the impact of losing staff more keenly. A good consultant can pick and choose where they work, so exciting projects, competitive salaries, an engaging company culture and business stability are important to them. That’s a big ask for most of us, let alone a business struggling to attract, maintain or grow their critical mass of great consultants.
That said, if it’s a right-sized project, and your small partner can guarantee dedicated resources to keep it on track, then it’s all good. But you’d want that in writing.
SWIPE LEFT ON: Too small; flashy with no substance.
SWIPE RIGHT ON: Big enough to cope with your project, plus others, even if a key person leaves; a partner that’s more than just fancy brochures and a whizzy website.