Sept. 15 2011 01:09 PM

While much has been said and written about the ever-changing competitive landscape and market dynamics, smaller contractors who may feel overwhelmed should note that their mere size may actually hold advantages that can be leveraged. one significant opportunity that smaller companies have over their larger counterparts is that they can more readily and strategically analyze, guide and grow their employees.

Research has shown that of the utmost importance to employees is the fact that their individual roles have a direct impact on building the success of the company. In a smaller

company, owners and management have that direct line of communication with their employees, and can play a very active role in their professional development. That holds a lot of weight with employees today, especially in these uncertain times.

Smaller companies can also put their top producers on more accounts. Buyers today loathe risk and want to make certain that they have enlisted the ‘A team.’ As a result of having more senior players dedicated to accounts, smaller companies create strong strategic partnerships that allow for stable growth. Another competitive advantage for the lite-sized is that what they lack in size, they make up for in differentiation. Junior players are four times more willing to be innovative, creative and try new things than large organizations. They also are five times faster than the big shots at the adoption of new practices and products.

The larger you are, generally, the slower and more inflexible you are. A small company can be very nimble, fast and flexible. With the speed of change and market conditions today, flexibility ranks high on a buyer’s purchasing criteria. As a smaller company has fewer resources, especially financial, they are very focused on their key activities, core capabilities and geographic areas that allows for market immersion and a deeper understanding of customer’s needs and strategic initiatives. Customer alignment and satisfaction are very strong in small companies.

This is not to discount the excellent work that has been done by companies that were once small, and as a result of their pursuit of excellence, have grown into the market leaders of today. It is important to learn as much as you can from these leaders and then leverage and embrace your smallness!

EdITor’S NoTE: Judith M. Guido is chairwoman of Guido & Associates, a business management company. She can be reached at 818-800-0135 or