Starting your own business means that you may be your only employee for a while, but to gain the trust of customers bigger is often better. Giving the appearance of a larger operation is a cunning way of appearing more established and resourced without actually taking on the costs of being so. However you also don’t want to stretch yourself too thin or exceed your capabilities (or lie to consumers), so achieving a balance is important. If you get it right, you get the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of small business with all the benefits of appearing big.
- Get a separate business phone. As a one-person operation it can be easy to slip and let personal and professional contact details mix. Having all your phone calls in one place just seems easier. However it can also mean you answer important calls in the wrong frame of mind, picking up expecting a personal call. Getting a separate, inexpensive handset and sim card allows you to keep these different – and you can even apply a toll free or personalised number, which will also add to the illusion of a larger company.
- Establish social media. Social media is one of the ways that customers gain an insight into your business. Never use social media (besides blogging) for your business under your own name – always Tweet, Facebook or Google+ under your official brand. This gives the impression of a larger team, or at least makes it impossible to know how many people really work there.
- Set up virtual desks. As a one-person operation, sometimes the area you’re based in isn’t the only one you want to service. Setting up a virtual front desk is a great way to spread your business into other locations without actually having to be there. Companies provide this service, and can accept calls, deliveries and provide a mailing address that makes your business look more credible and authentic. If needed, you can eventually hire a virtual assistant.
- Create a business website. When creating a website, you can easily create the impression that your operation is larger than it is. Using terms like “we” or “our”, having a sleek design and maintaining a professional brand steer your site away from looking like a self-employed business.
For some people, appearing as a one-person business will be no drawback. For those who want to appear bigger, more established and more professional, these small tips will help you give the right impression.