David & Goliath
David & Goliath - that biblical tale where the Giant Goliath was defeated by the young David in the Book of Samuel and the church's supposed victory over Satan.
Fast forward 2000 years and today the phrase has taken on a much more popular meaning denoting an underdog situation, a situation where a smaller, weaker opponent takes on a much bigger and stronger adversary.
This is exactly what happened to me this week in business. At Faith Simpson Accountants, we focus on the SMEs, the start ups, those companies who need the specialist, one to one help, friendly, focused and approachable. This is what start ups need and want. Someone who has been there and done it, not the corporate crap and fluff that so many spew out in their literature.
So when I signed up for the Start up Summit in Edinburgh this November I was excited to go along and meet these start up entrepreneurs who are right at the start of their epic journey. Many wont even have a business plan written, merely an idea and want to meet possible investors, bankers, angels and business advisors.
As well as attending the day long event, I thought taking an exhibition stand could work and a couple of my team could be on hand to talk to these budding business gurus and unicorns about their ideas and how to formulate realistic goals, business plans and general support and realistic advice.
But here's where it got interesting. A summit that it all about SMEs, entrepreneurs and start ups, is offered large sponsorship by one of Scotland's leading independent Accountancy Practises but only if they get exclusivity - meaning my bid for a stand is quashed. Sorry David, Goliath came along with his bigger wallet and flashed the cash.
For an event that should be supporting the Davids and not the Goliaths of the business world, put a bad taste in my mouth.
Then I remembered why I set up Faith Simpson Accountants - we offer something different, we work for the underdog, the Davids of this world. Those larger firms turned their back on these start ups back in 2007 when I set up, focusing all their attention, fancy lunches and golf matches on the large Oil and Gas companies, the huge retailers and manufacturers while those start ups got stung with high fees and very little help and attention.
Now as the market has changed, Goliath thinks he can go back and start offering specialist tax and start up advice to these new companies. Dazzle them with fancy terms and offerings, teams of staff to help them grow their idea into a unicorn in 5 years.
I am a disruptor in business and accountancy and I wont be scared off by this. I will be at that summit to speak to as many of the start ups as i can, offering an ear, professional help and advice. Who will Goliath send along? A marketing team? A sales person, perhaps a junior from the newly formed "Entrepreneurial team"?
So as a start up who would you rather talk your business ideas with? A marketing manager or from someone who has been there, done that and bought the sling shot?