Starting a Business

Grow Without Growing Pains

From outsourcing to renting conference space as needed, create a big-biz feel for your small biz.
3 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many home based entrepreneurs struggle against the perception that their business is small, maybe too small to effectively serve the majority of consumers. They know image matters. They want to retain their small-business atmosphere while projecting an image that says they're a bigger business. All while staying cost-effective and in control.

If you think a big-business image is the answer for your small business, there are plenty of ways to create that image.

Your website is a great start. Use "we" in the site's copy to let people know you're not a solo act. Clearly display a toll-free phone number throughout the site and have a live person available at the other end of line. Be sure to list your business's phone hours--you don't want to disappoint callers who otherwise might expect to be able to reach your business at all hours.

Another option is to provide a cell phone number that will always be staffed or use one of the many companies that provide answering services. Many are available on an as-needed basis and provide services like taking messages and orders.

You can also make yourself look big by showcasing your ability to do business with bigger companies. Ask some of your big-name clients to provide testimonials and display a choice quote prominently on your homepage.

Outsource or hire staff to expand your business's areas of expertise. This will add depth to your company and can increase customer satisfaction. Build a team that includes an attorney, an accountant, a bookkeeper and administrative help, and, hire a web designer to keep your website content current and fresh.

Provide a professional environment for meetings with current and potential customers. Many small, home based business owners find themselves meeting for lunch or coffee at a restaurant--but what if a customer asks to meet at your office? Fortunately, there are quick solutions to this problem:

For an a la carte or monthly fee, business centers provide conference rooms and receptionist services for functions such as remote-access voicemail and internet tech support. This gives you a professional environment that reflects the image you want to project, and provides staff on a per-use basis.

It's important to be wary of the fine line between looking big and being too big for your britches. Don't set the bar too high--it could break your company and add unnecessary stress as you struggle to maintain your image. By putting together a structure and resources, you can look big and build a strong company while meeting your customers' needs.

 

More from Entrepreneur

Elizabeth's expertise can help you scale your business, build a personal brand and focus on being a value-driven CEO.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.