We all know the infamous account of David and Goliath, where a young little boy defends himself and wins over the renowned giant. It’s the classic underdog wins story and emphasizes the importance of using one’s knowledge over one’s physical size.
While that may work most of the time – there still is that new business pitch or new venture when you realize – size really does matter.
Here are some tips on how to look and act bigger than you are to land that new business and help your business grow. All without giving up what you went into business for in the first place – your expertise.
First, you need to surround yourself with professionals who think and work like you. I call this the “type wow” personality and I mean it in a good sense. Owning your own business is fast paced and there is no room for an unmotivated staff. The key is to nurture talent and keep them. Your image is portrayed not only by you, but also by all who works for and with you.
Constantly ask for advice. Let associates and professionals whose opinions you admire, critique you and your work. They may see something that you overlooked or find a new way for you to promote your company. Even bad advice is good – we tend to learn more from mistakes.
Outsource where and when you can. So many small to mid-sized companies overlook the fact that time is money. Sure you can do it all – you probably did it all when you first started your company! But, if you are taking the time to do each individual project a staff member or consultant can do, you are loosing money and taking time away from growing your business. You are also exhausting your staff. Come up with the plan if you must – then give it to your charges to produce. You will see a more appreciative staff and probably a fresher perspective.
Image is everything. So, how does a small to mid-sized company compete with the designer, hi-end New York City executives? “Stay on top of your game,” is the best way to put it. Project an image of confidence and assurance, but be sure to back it with experience, examples and referrals. Know your field, know your client’s needs and cater to your client as if he / she is the only one that exists. Larger companies tend to lose site of client needs and quickly once they get the account.
You may have to tweak who you are on occasion. If your office looks more like a storage bin than a workplace, rent space for that big meeting. Bring in the caterer if necessary. And even hire temporary staff. Show that you are interested in entertaining your new client.
Rethink your marketing materials – from your letterhead to your brochure to your web site. Do you present a mom-and-pop image or a new, trend-setting company ready to produce that award winning widget or provide that phenomenal service? Yes, image. And yes, important to have a polished, professional and integrated package to explain who you are and what you do. You need more than just a logo and some ads in the local newspaper. You need a professional marketing company. Make the investment. Hire a company who knows what they are doing, who have experience and a track record. Remember, you get what you pay for. A lot of companies try to save money and hire designers who have no marketing or Branding experience. Take it from me. For more than 15 years, my staff and I have created award winning Brand recognition campaigns that can thoroughly build the image of our clients across all mediums, from Print to Radio to the internet. You should also use Public Relations, which is a tried and true approach that should be an integral part of any marketing program. We’ve assisted our clients in the writing and placement of announcements on their firms’ achievements, new business and new hires, feature articles, and even speaking and seminar engagements.
So, with tape measure in hand, or at least a fresh look at your company and what you do – it’s time to move forward. Use your talents, seek advice, outsource, revise your image by hiring the right Brand professionals, tell everyone and . . . succeed.