Three Reasons I Love SMEs

I have spent most of my career working in small or medium sized businesses. I am the daughter of a small business owner and live in a part of the country where most people working in the private sector are employed by SMEs. So, I suppose it is only natural that I would end up a champion for these businesses, bringing the advantages of a full-time financial consultant to their business without the full-time commitment. Now I help them grow by finding funds, maximising credit, managing stock and costs and getting the right reports and information to make the best decisions.  Here’s why I love working with them.


Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-big companies. The larger organisations in Ireland have facilitated so much innovation throughout the country in the challenges they seek to solve in partnership with smaller businesses and educational institutions. This dynamic of creative problem-solving is what makes the industrial sector, that I’m most familiar with, so exciting. Nothing stands still and the impossible is made possible every day.   A smaller business can flex, adapt and pivot at a speed that larger companies envy. This quick reaction time is crucial when developing new solutions where no roadmap showing the route to the destination is available. Or maybe an unscripted detour turns out to be a better bet.

However, the part played by the flexibility and creativity that SMEs offer is, I feel, sometimes under appreciated.


Working in a smaller business gives you a unique opportunity to see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together. This is not just a broader perspective. Seeing that the impact of a change here, can be felt there, gives you a far deeper understanding of where pitfalls and opportunities lie. The butterfly effect where small things can have non-linear impacts on a complex system, is far easier to identify in a smaller business.  For example, we know that a small change in work practices can have a knock-on effect in quality, health and safety, environmental and profits. Without the bureaucracy of a larger organisation, it is easy to spot in advance where issues might arise with innovative solutions. 

It might not be for everyone, but I find the challenge of extracting an elegant solution from a confused tangle is what really fires me up.


In a world of artificial intelligence, chat bots, redundancies talked of in percentages, a smaller business is still human. You can spend a fortune on a course on the internet to learn how to build relationships with customers. Go to any smaller business – ALL the relationships are personal. Customers are known not just by the sales department but by pretty much everyone in the business – people you have never seen or heard of know exactly what your needs are and work to fulfil them day in and day out. 

For all the excitement provided by variety and pace of change in a small business, SMEs still manage to be a more stable employment environment overall. These businesses are less likely to let staff go when there’s a downturn. 

Of course, it is not all plain sailing – all humans are flawed and that comes as part of the package.  This intense but authentic world is where I have always found myself most comfortable.


All that said, there are very few SMEs that don’t want to grow. Sustainable growth brings stability and more secure returns, allowing owners look to the next opportunity. And for me, this is the best bit of all – finding ways, every day, to build on what’s there and leverage it for the future. 

Yes, I might have slipped in a 4th reason here but that is because I’m a small business, and in small businesses you get to decide what rules matter and which are just convention like internet lists-of-three!  So if you would like to find out how I can spread the SME-love to your business, and more importantly to your bottom line, send me a message now or check out .

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