Solo and solo plus professionals may sometimes feel that size is a disadvantage. After all, RFPs often seem written for large agencies and some clients will not even consider small shops assuming that they don’t have the resources to manage big brand accounts. Additionally, in some sectors, there are persistent myths about solo professionals and their capabilities.
Today we want to highlight the advantages of being a solo or small communications business. Listed below are a 5 ways that size is positive that benefits your business and your client work.
- Meaningful professional development. You are untethered by defined roles and approved programs. As a solo or small business, you have the freedom to invest in professional development that will move the needle for clients. Without traditional boundaries, you can learn from multiple disciplines and keep pace with emerging skills. Your development can align with what you need to be successful for clients. What a concept. There is no org chart, or traditional career ladder locking you into learning only what is deemed useful. In fact, since you are not held to learning only the aspects of a skill that applies to the practice of your profession you can develop a more in-depth and robust knowledge that makes you more valuable to clients.
- Service. It used to be true that good service was expected and not a significant differentiation in business. However, today more than ever, great service makes a big impact. What is more customer friendly than dealing with a team that is truly invested in your success? Small and solo businesses often have more intimate relationships with clients. This gives you deeper insights into a client's business that can be used to inform your work. Clients know that they are valued and it shows up in the results. Your personalized approach and deep connections within accounts afford you the ability to make proactive recommendations rather than reactive responses developed in a silo. What's better than service with a smile? Service that drives results that make clients smile.
- Your network. You have an enviable network that spans industries and areas of expertise. You color outside the lines when it comes to conferences and networking and your network reflects that non-traditional approach. When a client has a need outside of your expertise, you are often the go-to source for finding the right help. Your vast and varied network also provides a deep well of inspiration and innovation, constantly challenging you to think outside of the box to solve client problems and deliver value.
- You can zig or zag with ease. You are not hindered by complex processes to make client or process changes. If you spot an emerging trend or problem you can move quickly to address it at a client level or business level. With an ability to quickly implement new ideas or approaches, you can bake innovation into your company’s DNA.
- Specialized expertise. As a solo or small business, you have a specialized focus. Whether you deem yourself a specialist or generalist your brand can and should be differentiated by specialized expertise. That expertise may be a set of skills, an industry, or even approach. It is important to identify that specialized expertise and sell it with confidence to potential clients.
There are many advantages to being a solo or small communications shop, and you should be leveraging those advantages in your own marketing. The market can accommodate large, small and mid-sized agencies but sometimes the best person for the job is a solo or solo-plus!
We’d love to hear from you. How have you used your size as an advantage? Feel free to comment here or on social media using #solopr.