We always refer to our clients' companies as small, medium or large. My question is which one of these is correct?

We provide web and mobile solutions to small size companies.

We provide web and mobile solutions to small sized companies.

  • @ MaulikV This is something I've often wondered, and I think there is a general difference in preference between AmE and BrE. As per the comments to the answer, small/medium/large do not require -size/-sized, but perhaps you are thinking of something like bite-size vs bite-sized? – nxx Apr 11 '14 at 1:34

I cannot speak to English elsewhere, but in the US there would be no need to use size at all—‘small business’ is the term.

If you are concerned that bare small suggests inferiority, quite the opposite is true. ‘Small businesses’ are generally recognized—or at least recognize themselves!—as the engine which drives the American economy, and there is a large Federal agency, the Small Business Administration, dedicated to their support. They have indeed something of a mystique: ‘small business owners’ regard themselves as a distinct class, superior in efficiency, energy and entrepreneurship to the bureaucratic managers of large corporations.

Of course the US notion of ‘small business’ may be substantially larger than that which obtains in your country. The SBA standard varies from industry to industry, but by and large it is less than 500 employees in manufacturing and less than $7M annual revenue in non-manufacturing industries.

  • My concern is learning the usage of the word 'size' or 'sized' than understanding the 'scale' of businesses. It is more about mentioning the size of the company rather than justifying it with its revenue and the like. Anyway, for your reference, here is an article on The Washington Post that reads 'mid-size': washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/… – Maulik V Nov 19 '13 at 12:38
  • There is a book on managing a midsized (here, it's 'sized') company: amazon.com/Managing-The-Small-Midsized-Company/dp/0256142807 by an American business consultant, author, and lecturer on the subject of company sustainability and growth. – Maulik V Nov 19 '13 at 12:52
  • 5
    @MaulikV You asked about small, and my point was that size is not used with small ... the spectrum is small, mid-size(d), large. Mid needs size because it's basically an adverb, not an adjective. You can use medium internally, but that's mostly used of packaging. – StoneyB Nov 19 '13 at 13:14
  • O.k. Got it. In India it's too frequently used even for small and large businesses. Thank you. – Maulik V Nov 19 '13 at 15:43
  • 4
    @MaulikV I cannot say too strongly that you should be guided by the language of your audience, not mine. For instance, a 'small business' in Australia may imply fewer than 15 employees, in the EU fewer than 50. It may be that in India the phrase small business would suggest unimportance. If that is the case, then its use in the US is irrelevant, and small-size (or small size or small sized) would be more appropriate for you, to make it clear that you are speaking only of scale. What is the usage in India? --follow that. – StoneyB Nov 19 '13 at 16:32

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.