Playing With The Big Boys

Think Big

Need ideas on how to make your company look bigger? Try these on for size:

1. If your office has more desks than people, and visitors often come in, put pictures and papers on the empty desks, making them seem as though somebody works there.

2. If you work out of your apartment, remember you work in a Suite. If you work out of your house, you still work in a Suite. (The postal carrier will figure it out.)

3. Scott Testa and Dave Christian use e-mail addresses with their first initial and last name, to give the impression there might be more than one Scott and Dave at the firm. Their phone extensions aren't 101 and 102, but 346, 789 and other odd numbers that give the impression of a massive company.

4. If you haven't lost that baby-faced look, hire your mom or dad for a day as a vice-president of sales and let them help clinch the deal.

5. Make out business cards with your name and several different titles (i.e., president of marketing; senior manager of human resources). Use whichever card is appropriate for the occasion.

6. Run tiny ads in huge magazines and newspapers. Then you can casually ask clients, "Hey, did you see our ad in The New York Times?"

7. Tack the words "International Headquarters" on your stationery and business cards.

8. Get with the program and get a Web site.

9. Get a toll-free number and a voice-mail system that provides professional call answering.

Contact Sources

Crystal River Business Solutions Inc., (408) 588-9920, http://www.crbsi.com

Ian Alliott Inc., (612) 333-7383, http://www.ianalliott.com

Mindbridge.com Inc., (215) 283-9466, ext. 825, http://www.mindbridge.com

MultiMedia Audiotext, (718) 435-8691

Zoobee Inc., (972) 931-0602, http://www.zoobee.com

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Geoff Williams has written for numerous publications, including Entrepreneur, Consumer Reports, LIFE and Entertainment Weekly. He also is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit.

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This article was originally published in the July 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Playing With The Big Boys.

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