Big business tie-ups

THE golden rule for every businessman is this: "Put yourself in your customer's place." - Orison Swett Marden.

With big business coming to some Queensland towns in recent years, and changing the business landscape, the general trend has been for big business to bring other big businesses in to assist with engineering, construction and other general project management activities.

If you are a small business owner, you may consider it an opportunity to grow your business and support the major industries. But, is it easy for the small business owner to 'get a start' with big business and to become a valued service provider. The answer is yes, and no.

The challenge for the small business owner is that major industrial companies have a range of requirements that they expect of their suppliers and service providers. These requirements include Safely Management Plans, Quality Systems and Training Plans, amongst other things.

These requirements are crucial for large organisations, as they ensure that their service providers are capable of delivering a safe and high-quality service. For the small business owner, these systems appear onerous and superfluous. They generally aren't, and it is usually just a matter of understanding what the client requires (generally understood by going through a "pre-qualification" process) and developing business systems to comply with the relevant requirements.

The one piece of advice that I have for small businesses who want to work with large industry is to understand what systems your company needs to be considered as a suitable service provider.