Bet on the Little Guy (Startup)

Startup - bet on the little guy
Posted on by in Culture, Improve, Motivational

3 big reasons why companies should be trusting a startup agency with that design, social media or marketing contract instead of a heavyweight corporate firm:

September 2018…

Yeah that’s right we’re ‘the little guy’. We just got started, only 5 employees and really ambitious, maybe even unrealistic, goals. Most companies’ CEOs, Marketing Directors or decision makers would rather trust their brand, advertising and SM accounts with a larger, more established agency over that of a startup, but this is 2018 and if there was ever anything to learn from the last decade of change it would be..

bet on the little guy.


Now of course I’m going to say that, after all I want your business right? Well you wouldn’t be wrong there. We want business – but we want the business that believes in us and that we believe in. That’s the secret to keeping our passion and fire regardless of our growth – we believe in what we do.

My biggest problem with the ‘bigger guy’, is quite often he’s forgotten what it’s like to be the little guy. To be a startup driven by pure passion, to get immersed in the work that he loves; the excitement of reaching goals or milestones along the way and to work with a tight knit team that all share the vision.

The sheer electricity that comes from being a startup is often lost when you get big – of course there are exceptions to this: Companies like Perkbox, Deliveroo & Netflix are all known for having great internal culture – almost as if they don’t know that they are big and are playing the game with the same drive and passion that they had when they were a young startup.

But enough fluff, here are some real reasons big companies should bet on the little guy:

1. Little Guys Aren’t Going Through the Motions:

At this point in a startup, every bite-size portion of work is backed by fresh passion and drive. Every client is incredibly important as they represent more than just profit margin. They are part of the portfolio of a growing business, proof of quality work and quite often absolutely essential to sustaining the business. If we lose any one client – that’s either the lights, electric, or salaries that feel it. So the little guy / startup aims not only to retain clients… but to blow their minds and impress them.

2. Tech Savvy and Ahead of the Curve

The little guy is quite often more in touch than his bigger opponent.
Usually younger, and because of all the fierce competition, he needs to follow trends incredibly fast. This means staying ahead of the curve, trying new tech and producing work that can hold its own with half the budget and workforce. The big guy is also slower, with red tape and so many bureaucratic steps before something new can be implemented. By the time they pick up on it, it’s yesterday’s trend. The startup doesn’t have the luxury of being a laggard.

3. The Little Guy Costs Less and Does More:

Let’s face it, being small has its advantages. He’s quicker, lighter on his feet, has a smaller office and smaller overheads. He’s flexible and able to go above and beyond. At least when you pay the little guy you know you are paying for the work instead of knowing that a large portion is going to the fancy offices, unused boardrooms, parking bays and CEO’s mahogany office furniture. We, for example, started in a cramped garage – I still remember having a Skype video meeting with a client set up and trying to find a way to make the area behind me look presentable, or at least not like 3 guys huddled in a garage. Come to think of it, we have grown quite a bit since then.

Make 2018 the year where you keep your ear close to the ground. Catch the emerging opportunity before it’s too late, take a chance on an employee or freelancer that might not yet have the degree or have that coffee meeting with the young startup agency that has been sending their pitch-deck. Things move fast – now more than ever we can’t afford to underestimate anyone, besides, it’s just more exciting betting on the little guy.

I think the biggest challenge we, as a ‘little guy’ consider ahead of us, is going to be keeping the positive attributes of being a startup as we scale. We are, however, up to the challenge!


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