The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.
Four Ways to Make Your Small Business Look Bigger
Published on May 3, 2011
Read 'Four Ways to Make Your Small Business Look Bigger' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
Who says size doesn't matter? You might not want your small business to feel like an impersonal multinational conglomerate to your prospective customers, but you also don't want it to say, "I'm running this from my mother's basement." Even if you are.
There are many ways to project a bit of gravitas without misrepresenting yourself. Here are a few ways to make it happen:
1. Convince yourself that you run a real business. If you run your business from home, do whatever you can to separate your home and work environments. A dedicated office space is a minimum requirement, as is (usually) a dedicated phone line with a businesslike voice mail message. The simple act of dressing for work can take a home business into the kind of headspace that projects confidence and authenticity.
2. Create a graphic identity. Professional business cards and letterhead are inexpensive and readily available from FedEx Office and other similar providers. Go to Elance.com or CrowdSpring.com to find a freelance graphic designer to create a brilliant logo for a reasonable cost.
3. Grab a domain and make it work for you. Nothing says "garage office" like a Gmail email and a Blogspot web address. Find a meaningful web address—preferably the name of your company—and use it to project a unified identity, including email. Helpful hint: If you want to project size, James.Smith@company.com beats Jim@company.com.
4. Get an office (when you can). There's a limit to how professional you are ever going to look working from your dining room table. Of course if your business is specifically intended to be run from home, stay put. Otherwise, consider getting a brick-and-mortar office. A space for meetings, a business address, and a psychologically dedicated space can make all the difference in lending legitimacy to your business venture.
Building an image of stability and substance is a big step toward gaining customer confidence and growing your business until it really IS the size you want to project!