I really enjoy most of the aspects of being part of a very small company. We get to work on some really nice projects and there's no opportunity for the corporate politics and back biting that occurs in larger organisations. The downside is that clients and others know we're small - and simply don't give us the respect they'd accord a larger business.
At the moment this is manifesting itself in several ways: we're owed money by a couple of large clients, but their payment processes are so Byzantine - plus the fact that we hardly register on their radar - that it's proving very difficult to get anywhere with them. The sums involved aren't large, but why do the biggest companies take longest to pay the smallest?
Secondly we're suffering from re-book fever. So many meetings have been cancelled or shifted recently that it's now becoming hard to balance the time we actually spend meeting clients to getting the job done. Most people have had the good grace to phone to postpone, but on a couple of occasions I've driven across London only to be told 'Oh, sorry he's in a meeting and will have to cancel' once I've arrived - and that's an existing client, not someone we're merely pitching to.
Still, on the upside, there's some new work coming in that will stretch us in a new direction, and a couple of promising partnerships beginning to gain pace too. 2005 has been a tough year, but the prospects for 2006 are brighter.... so long as we can pin down those meetings, and cash the cheques!