An SMEs guide to pitching for big business

Big business isn’t only for big businesses. Nevertheless, small companies often shy away from large-scale projects, intimidated by competition from larger rivals. SMEs are constantly on the hunt for new areas to pitch their business, but rarely extend their search to the heights of a corporate company.

shutterstock_235025512The rewards of securing a “big name” client are plentiful and can give SMEs a significant boost to help grow their business. With one well-known client on the books, others are sure to follow.

Magnetic London recently completed its first campaign for Lee Kum Kee – the world’s biggest authentic Chinese sauce producer – which teamed up with Dreamworks to sponsor the new Kung Fu Panda 3 movie. After working with the company on various small-budget projects and gradually building a strong mutual relationship, we secured this major campaign, which has catapulted the company into the spotlight. Our designs have appeared in print and online adverts, on supermarket shelf talkers and exposition stands, and have been shared widely on social media.

Needless to say, winning big scale projects does not come easily, but they are well worth the effort. Persistence, determination and confidence in your own ability are key attributes to securing major projects.

As an SME there are some vital steps to take before approaching a large company. First and foremost, you must have a great product or service to sell. Ensure that you can offer excellence and compete with bigger, better-known suppliers.

Secondly, you must know your market inside out. Keep up-to-date with current trends and research your prospective client thoroughly. And finally, make certain you can meet the demand of a corporate business. Do you have the capacity to provide the number of products or level of service it requires?

Once you’ve ticked these boxes, you’ll be able to pitch with confidence. Make sure you speak to a decision maker and don’t assume that you’ll be overlooked because of your size. Not having a high enough headcount is unlikely to be the sole reason for failing to secure new business. However do demonstrate the many benefits of working with a small business – the advantages are often overlooked.

SMEs are able to provide their clients with a more dedicated service and put their best people on the project, compared with a huge supplier that is working on a multitude of projects at any given time. Small businesses can be more attentive and work much more flexibly to ensure the client is happy. This not only makes them feel valued but also guarantees that a project runs smoothly.

A well-run SME can work quickly – they say time is money, and this certainly rings true for a small company. And while a bigger business might rest on its laurels, an SME has something to prove. With less corporate tape to cut and no hierarchies to wade through, small businesses can work much more efficiently.

An SME may also provide a more creative and unique solution. Larger companies can get stuck in their ways, while smaller businesses often have an ‘all hands on deck’ attitude, where everyone exchanges ideas and approaches the task in a different way. An SME’s eagerness to go above and beyond to gain a client’s trust means they are more likely to push the boundaries and deliver more than what has been asked of them.

At Magnetic, we see our clients as our business partners. We don’t just respond to the brief we are given, we challenge it and we bring our own vision and experience to the given brief. For example, we incorporated our Augmented Reality technology to the recipe books designed for Lee Kum Kee’s ‘Let’s Panda Campaign’, allowing readers to scan a page to watch related videos or visit websites or social media channels.

SMEs have plenty to offer and shouldn’t limit themselves to small projects purely because they are unsure of how to approach winning business from a large company. There’s no reason why small businesses should be considered as less capable than their bigger rivals. Each pitch is an opportunity to gain experience and learn about the corporate world. Tenacity is key, success is sure to follow.