It’s rare to see a big company admit defeat. Normally, an unsuccessful venture is wound down quietly with little fanfare. That makes last week’s news that KPMG has decided to shut down its dedicated SME service, SBA, in a very public manner all the more surprising.
In making the move so publicly, KPMG has sent a very clear message that it believes that its ideas and strategies weren’t fit for the SME market.
They would be right. Businesses like KPMG are juggernauts, with some of the best and brightest people in the accounting world working for them and coming up with innovative strategies and genius products. But that doesn’t mean that they know the SME world. Too often, it’s assumed that the same strategies apply across the business world, regardless of the size and sector of your company. This is a dangerous, and often simply wrong, assumption to make when you’re thinking about SMEs. The SME world is infinitely more varied than its larger counterpart, both in business size and structure. Trying to apply the mindset of a big business to an SME will only result in disaster both for your business and your clients.
In order to succeed in this market, you have to understand and adapt to how each of your clients’ businesses differ, both in their structure and their needs. SMEs aren’t just another business sector, they’re a market in and of themselves. They need a service tailored specifically to them, and the best way to provide that isn’t for them to be served by the corporate world. To help an SME, you have to understand what it means to be a SME – and who knows that better than another small business?
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