Some people may not want to do business with your new startup but not because you’ve done anything wrong. Do you find safety in size? Some consumers like dealing with larger businesses with decades of experience because they believe they’ll receive more reliable service and competitive pricing. Before calling they’ll go online to see just how big your startup is and regardless of the quality of your work, they may dismiss you due to your small size.
How do you combat this? How do you give your business the impression of being larger than it really is? Here are a few ways.
Change Your Numbers
First, think about your invoicing system. Don’t start with invoice number one. Instead, start somewhere in the thousands. Maybe Invoice #5653. Next, if your business receives a lot of calls, consider an 800 number with an automated system. Customers will get annoyed if they have to go through multiple layers of pressing numbers but one or two layers is reasonable. Finally, make your phone extension a higher number than one.
If you’re going to have a website, make sure it looks professional and describes your business using plural words. A professional looking website doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find templates and then pay somebody to modify it for you. For the text of your site, use “we” and “our” instead of “I” and “my”. Read larger businesses’ websites to get ideas of the type of wording to use.
Forget the Title
If you’re a small company and your business card says “president” or “CEO”, it’s not very CEOish if you’re the one at the counter servicing customers. There’s nothing wrong with a business card that doesn’t list your title especially if your title is “I do it all”.
If a family member or friend helps you with your business and lives in another city, use their address on your website as well. This gives the impression that you have more than one location.
Don’t start your business off by fabricating information but it’s likely that your business is larger and more complicated than you realize. Use that as a way to truthfully play up your size. Finally, remember that some people prefer small businesses because of the personal touch they give to their customers. Don’t be ashamed of being small. Concentrate on providing outstanding service to your customers.