When an advertiser begins searching for a new marketing partner, many reject a small agency out of hand, foreseeing all sorts of deficiencies.

I think the evidence suggests most of these deficiencies aren’t real shortcomings at all, just shortsightedness on the part of some. Here are a few small agency myths that are clearly just that: myths.

Myth #1: A small agency doesn’t have first-rate creative horsepower.

Every year, Ad Age magazine features the best small agencies in America, and, every year, the work is impressive. For 2013, Bailey Lauerman of Nebraska was named Ad Age’s Small Agency of the Year for their big agency thinking and design on behalf of Union Pacific Railroad, among other clients.

Small agency Baily Lauerman award winning Union Pacific Railroad ad

Other small agencies that have done some terrific work for major clients recently include Mono (Minneapolis) for Target, Standard Time (Los Angeles) for Starbucks and TDA (Boulder) with their cheeky campaign for First Bank.

Small agency TDA efirstbank billboard

The list goes on and on. Truth is small agencies can’t afford to be anything less than creative. They know they have to measure up to the work done by agencies with layers of creative directors. If they don’t, they won’t grow.

On top of that, a small agency knows that each ad is precious, a chance at greatness that won’t come along that often. So they tend to overcompensate for their lack of quantity with real attention to quality.

Myth #2: A small agency doesn’t have the resources to handle large, fast-changing accounts.

Okay, sometimes. But this isn’t the age of Mad Men any more, when it took an average of six to ten people to handle $1 million in business. Today, one or two people, armed with computers, iPads, smart phones, scanners, and video conferencing can handle the same amount of billing.

All this technology has also facilitated the Age of Outsourcing. Qualified freelancers are standing by. Agencies are taking on temporary personnel, project by project. So resources can be added and subtracted quickly and easily.

Myth #3: Small agencies can’t have the kind of experience and expertise some accounts require.

First, it’s unlikely that any small agency without expertise in a given field would even attempt to go after an account requiring that kind of knowledge. Second, when they do have specialized expertise, it’s often a disproportionate amount.

This is because small agencies are often founded by people who used to work at bigger agencies, people who have impressive experience. They also have impressive address books, full of professionals with similar experience and talent.

Sure, large agencies have lots of experienced people, too. But at a small agency, the grey-haired marketing mavens are more likely to be able to spend a lot of time applying their experience and expertise to your business.

MYTH #4: Small agencies don’t have enough people to respond to rapid changes.

Occasionally, this might be true. Smaller agencies may be caught short for a day or so.

But, in another sense, smaller shops can be much more nimble and quick. Changes in modern culture, pop trends, fashions, and technology driven techniques spread more quickly through agencies under 50 people. With flatter org charts devoid of silos, and little investment in outdated systems, small agencies can often react to internal and external changes faster.

Let’s face it: you don’t see many 7 foot point guards in the NBA or 250 pound ballerinas at the Bolshoi. The point is smaller agencies can react to load changes and strategy changes very quickly because they have fewer layers, departments, and biases to deal with.

MYTH #5: Small agencies can be smug “boutiques.”

Sure, you’ll probably run into a few of those.

But the truth is, for the most part, smaller agencies are just plain hungrier than big agencies, a fact that often makes them even better marketing partners than the big agencies. Since small agencies and the people who work for them have much more to gain from new business and current client growth, they tend to be more open to new and different ideas and more collaborative.

For example, an anonymous junior account executive at a big agency will likely remain just as anonymous after helping to win the big account as she was before. At a smaller agency, everybody gets noticed for his or her contribution. It’s good for esteem and agency esprit de corps, and it fuels passion for doing more of the same. All of which benefits clients.

Now that I’ve defended small agencies against some of the myths about their abilities, I have to admit I don’t blame clients, especially big clients, for feeling more comfortable with a large agency. It’s the “Nobody ever got fired for hiring IBM” syndrome. There’s a lot at stake for CMOs when picking an agency, and the last thing that CMO needs is for the CEO and other board level bigwigs to be second-guessing their judgment for picking a pipsqueak.

But for those companies and marketing officers who are willing to ignore the small agency myths and stretch their marketing dollars, that pipsqueak agency might be the mouse that roared.