I've worked for huge corporations and tiny firms, and whenever I switch from one to the other I have to do a certain amount of unlearning and re-learning when it comes to social habits.
With a corporation, you should only tell your boss about success you've attained or problems you need him to solve. This is because corporate managers deal mainly in delegations, introductions, and schedules. If you tell a corporate manager about a problem only you can solve, he/she will think, ah, they're telling me about a problem they have, I don't know how to solve it, so I'll delegate this to XYZ person. Then you end up with XYZ person tripping all over the problem space, trying to figure it out, while you try to implement the solution.
You could have thought, aha, here's my manager, I'll just keep them up to date, but if you don't keep them up to date in the right way, your schedule could be compromised by their very attempt to help. Many people respond to this by blaming the manager, but that's because the tech culture has a very irresponsible attitude towards communication. If you're on schedule, you say something to somebody, and now you're off schedule, that's your doing.
Now conversely, with a small business, you need to justify your time. Small businesses are more budget-conscious. This is true even for prosperous businesses on expensive projects with well-funded clients; it's not a matter of being on a budget per se, but of focus. Large corporations aim for economies of scale. Small businesses aim for efficiency. This is why innovations always come first from small companies. It also means your client or manager will need a different level of detail.
Small companies also have much smaller social networks, so your higher-up will not be thinking in terms of, is this under control or do I need to do some delegating or make some introductions? Your boss, or client, or whomever, is going to be thinking more in terms of, is this done, and how long will it take, and what steps remain? (Also, if you charge a hefty rate, your client may want to be sure you're not doing anything simple or basic that they could offload to one of their more affordable people.)
It's important to keep this in mind. Talking to a corporate manager the way you talk to a small business owner results in the corporate manager thinking you're overwhelmed and don't know what you're doing. Talking to a small business owner the way you talk to a corporate manager results in the small business owner thinking you're self-important and wasting time. (And this is, of course, assuming in either case optimal corporate managers and optimal small business owners. Any dysfunctions in either case can of course mean further compounded communication errors.)
Update: somebody cursed me passionately on reddit for my comment about innovations always coming from small companies. They seemed like they were foaming at the mouth, but they had a point. They mentioned 3M, and Apple's another big company famous for innovating. But there's definitely quicker adoption of innovations among smaller companies.