Little fish, big fish swimming in the water. It’s the end bit of that fantastic PJ Harvey song – “Down by the water”. Google is just amazing: by searching for the exact lyrics, I found a site called www.songmeanings.net where people put forward what they think songs mean. I have no idea what this (or most PJ Harvey songs) means, but she’s got a superb voice, and this song has great rhythm.
Yet again, the talk of significant consolidation among Tier 2 and Tier 3 service providers has come up, and yet again, it will fade away and things will remain substantially the way that are at this end of the market. Well, that’s my prediction anyway regarding the many small to mid-sized service providers – the “little fish” in the ocean of our telecommunications market.
Not a month goes by without a call from someone I know asking if they can buy someone else I know. So why aren’t all these transactions taking place? Simply because there are no sellers.
Your typical little fish turns over anything from a few thousand to a few million per month. They are part of the engine room of our economy – privately owned small- and medium-sized businesses that deliver profits to their owners. There are 200+ of these critters, and they are almost all “below the radar”. You won’t read about them in the paper, and you probably have never heard of most of them (unless you are one of their customers).
But this is in fact their strength – they have established niche or vertical markets using a variety of methods. They can offer far superior customer service – a real person on the end of the phone. And with the departure of the bottom-dwelling scum (no names), there are reasonable margins across most voice products.
Are you a buyer? a seller? or a non-seller?