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What Is So Small About Your Small Business

There is nothing 'small' about running your own business

When asked the inevitable question "So, what do you do?" more times than not, a small business owner will reply "I run a small design company" or "I own a small business". Yet, there is nothing small about running a small business. Usually it takes a bigger effort than the large businesses. You have to act as Accountant, President, Sales and Marketing. What's so small about that? How does it help your business when you refer to it as small?

Instead of running your own tiny writing company, how about you run a communications firm? The issue is when you use the term small; it's up for the listener's opinion. How do they define small? You may think small is: I can handle work for mid-size companies, up to 200 employees. While the person you are telling it to might think "Too bad she can only handle businesses with under 50 employees, my mid-size company could sure use some help." Do you think by saying you a run a company that isn't small, you will be buried by too much work from bigger clients? That would be a problem most of us would love to have.

Recently, one of my Coaching clients told me she runs a small graphic design company. I asked her "What does one of the "large" firms provide to a potential client that you don't?" She replied "Well, they have a golden client list and nice offices". That was it. In most businesses, you are hired to bring value to a clients business by using your talent. Nothing in that sentence mentions cushy leather chairs, or 3M as a past client.

I have heard the argument that people like working with a smaller company because of the relationship that can be built between the one man show and the client. Sure you pick up the phone, and you don't have to go through six people to get an answer, but it's not the size of a payroll that dictates quality customer service, it's the mindset of the people within it.

If you want to start landing larger clients, first stop acting so small and give yourself some credit for your talent. If you don't, no one else will.

Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing, a firm that works with business owners to help them become customer magnets. He uses proven methods of successful marketing to increase awareness and sales both within a company's current customer base and new ones. He recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fast Company and his articles have been published all over the world. Find out more about Scott at Un-Marketing .

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