Yes, I know, I shouldn’t be surprised, yet I am. At least partially. While I understand relatively small size of the vendor company brings some risks for the client it also brings a list of advantages which are usually underestimated.
Small is flexible by nature. If you’re small you much easier adjust yourself to environment. To ever-changing requirements. You’re much quicker when it comes to react for new situation. One of main big players on our market is known they never deliver any ordered change request in time shorter than a couple of months. Even if it takes them a manday. We are on the other end of the scale.
When you’re small you value relations. Since you don’t have loads of salespeople you sell via references. And you don’t have references unless your clients are happy with cooperation with you. Therefore you put much effort to improve the cooperation. Maintenance people like you. Product managers like you. It’s a win-win.
Since each similar deal is relatively more important for small company than for a big one small organizations usually care more. If you don’t have comfort to be able to trash a project with almost no negative consequences for the company your level of motivation will be way higher. You’ll just care more.
And yes, choosing a small company is a kind of risk but most of the time it’s a worthy play. I don’t say that just support my ego. I’ve seen much more failure projects delivered by big players just because the vendor failed in one of above criteria (usually in all of them).
Of course you can always bring the old motto “No one got fired for choosing IBM” but at least don’t try to state you choose the best option.