Fake It till You Make It: Making Your Small Business Look More Successful Than It Is
by Mashum Mollah Small Business 17 August 2017
Every entrepreneur starts a business with the hopes that it will be successful. However, being the new kid on the block without a lot of capital and minimal resources can essentially make it more challenging to see your small business grow. Customers aren’t willing to do business with a new, small, unestablished company, investors are hesitant to take a chance on your dream, and larger corporations continue to rake in the big bucks. How can you overcome the challenges of being a new, not as established small business? Fake it until you make it.
Read also: Developing an Idea and Starting Your Own Business
Perception is Everything
Let’s face it. Growing your small business is not something that’s going to happen overnight. It is a process that takes years to accomplish. However, if you want to get into the big leagues, you’ve got to do something to change the perception of those you want to do business with. The phrase “fake it till you make it” comes into play for many entrepreneurs during the first few years of starting their business. The idea is to make it appear that your business is growing successfully – until it actually does. How do you fake it? Here are some solutions:
Consider International Payment Solutions
Whether you’re a brick and mortar, brick and click, online retailer, or e-commerce site, having convenient and secure methods for consumers to pay for services and goods can provide peace of mind for those who may have thought your organization was unprofessional. However, investing in payment gateway solutions that allow you to accept international payments can give off an even bigger appearance. This says, your business has reached beyond your local demographics – giving off the impression that your sales are increasing.
Use Larger Invoice Numbers
Do you use invoices for customers, vendors, or clients? Invoicing is a great method for managing cash flow and keeping accounting records. Want to make it look like you’re growing and bringing in more business than you actually are? Instead of starting with a number like 0001 on your invoices, start with a larger number like 1000 or greater. This gives the impression that you’re billing more customers which sends the message that you’re growing rapidly.
Beef Up Your Staff
While there are a lot of solopreneurs out there who have accomplished great things, consumers are more interested in doing business with a company that has multiple employees. Though you may not be able to hire a full staff just yet, there are some ways you can make it appear as though you have more of a team and you’re not a one-man show.
- Hire a virtual assistant to answer and route your calls, draft letters, and send out emails on your behalf.
- Create the illusion of multiple departments by creating separate emails for various topics. For instance, instead of firstname.lastname@example.org, you could have email accounts that include email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, etc. Though you may be the only person monitoring these email accounts, from the outside looking in, you have an entire team of professionals on your side.
- Update your company website to say we instead of saying I. By wording your online content differently, it gives the impression that you’re a company with a full staff and growing as opposed to a one-man show.
Get a Business Location
If you happen to run a business from your home, if you want it to look like you’re growing, you’re going to need to get your own office space. Perhaps consider renting office space in a commercial building nearby. You can get reasonable rates for a little desk space. Now you have a physical location to go to each day and a place where you can bring clients if necessary and look professional. Another option would be to rent virtual office space. This is a virtual office space that provides you with a physical address, professional phone answering services, and the opportunity to use nearby office space and conference rooms for important meetings to make it appear as though your company is larger than it really is.
In the world of business, perception is everything. Consumers, other businesses, vendors, and other service providers are reluctant to do business with new, less-established businesses. If you want to get ahead, faking it until you make it is the best solution. As you consider these solutions, keep in mind that you don’t want to ruin your business in an effort to make it look like it’s growing. It’s all about finding a balance that is convenient for you. Although it may seem like a lot keeping up appearances, there will come a time when you can stop faking it, and just be proud that you’ve finally made it.