This is a question that I’m often asked, especially is there a size of business that is too small.
Over all the years I’ve been dealing with SME’s there are probably hardly any sector types that I haven’t had some involvement with. A very specialist type of business or market does take more understanding but usually the core issues are the same, you just have to put more effort into asking the right questions and understanding what makes them different. I do however find that experience or personal interest will lead you to have a natural affinity with a type of business. This leads you to be able to ask questions naturally based on existing knowledge and show an understanding that quickly builds credibility. Its why people specialise of course.
Which leads me to this picture. The common ‘ice breaker’ question “Tell us something that we won’t know about you” is easily dealt with for me; I own a 1964, 8-ton, vintage bulldozer (to be precise it is a Drott International BDT6). Don’t ask why, it’s a very long story. However it means I’m delighted to be working with I J Plant Limited whose business is all about heavy plant. Their warehouse is full of great stuff. These tyres are the small ones by the way. A well established family business who are good to work with and they humour me by tolerating my bulldozer stories too…
And when it comes to the question about the size of business I like to work with. Well my criteria is: (1) Can I genuinely add value (i.e. solve their issue), (2) Can I have a good relationship with them and (3) Can they pay my fee.
With this philosophy I have worked with one of the larger companies in the UK (Turnover £2bn) but also a company with a turnover less than £25k, but run by a really nice bloke who I’m still in touch with after I was able to help deal with a banking problem which saved his business.