The decisions we take when buying supplies or ordering services are complex and depend on many factors. However the attention to detail when addressing our needs and concerns is much easier for a small business to accommodate. Our custom matters to them disproportionately and in theory they can afford to be much more customer focused than large companies that are obliged to deal with many more customers simply to remain competitive. The local knowledge retained within the staff team can go a long way to ensure that deliveries get to the right place at the right time. Self evidently some purchases and services lend themselves much better to large volume transactional processes and others to lower numbers of complex decisions.
The Micro enterprise I work for has proven itself well suited to meeting the needs of a local University over many years. However we are too small to qualify for the procurement processes that they are signed up to as part of the framework agreements that they and other Universities operate. Over the last decade we have been approached by the University three times to supply them after their major supplier has let them down. Three times they have adopted the framework procurement process which is intended to save them time and money, to choose a supplier. The large nationally significant suppliers are all resplendent with the relevant quality marks and standards. Each of the contracts begins with good intentions on both sides. However the nature of the work depends on the supplier understanding the needs of the local University and delivering the goods on time and to meet the needs identified to a price acceptable for both sides. three times the relationship has broken down when the supplier tries to deliver schemes and solutions that they have designed for other scenarios, or using unskilled labour when fully skilled engineers are needed for substantial parts of the work. Each time the relationship breaks down, the University call us in to ensure that they can operate their teaching spaces. The most recent breakdown is taking place as I write.
Tomorrow is 9th January and because the classification of a micro enterprise is one that employs 9 people, a small group of people with a few companies are encouraging these businesses to spend 9 minutes to promote the value of small businesses. As a company we are delighted to participate in #MicroBizMattersDay
All of us buy services and products, almost all of us use large scale suppliers and small artisan suppliers to differing degrees. Tomorrow would be a great day to shift the emphasis towards the micro business, artisan supplier just a little. It comes hot on the heels of Small Business Saturday on 6th December. However this is not just about retailers, this extends to businesses like ours that operate from anonymous business parks all over the country. By spending more of your budget with micro businesses, you can contribute towards increasing jobs and returning more of your money to local economies. We all know it makes sense.