Note: All men are now worrying that women will answer this question the wrong way. Fear not - "that" isn't the subject of this post! Enjoy. As always, you can find all my blog posts from 2013 to the present on my website at http://stevemarshallassociates.com/steves-blog/
No matter what size your company or firm is, I believe there is some wisdom and you get some glide in having the appearance that you are just a bit bigger than you really are - it gives clients some comfort that they are dealing with a well-organized firm; I call it the necessary "smoke, wires, and mirrors" of doing business.
Philosophically, I believe that, even with all of the corporate disillusionment we have endured in the last decade. with the failure of big banks, investment firms, mortgage companies, etc. people still want to place their faith in a "Big Brother" or "Mother Ship" type of business, to the point, insofar, that they will place more faith in a big business than a small one, especially when it comes to buying decisions. Is there a balance, though.........?
My story about that from many years ago that illustrates this concept..........I was in Sun Valley, Idaho in 1981 on a ski trip and had a broken Scott ski boot that had been made locally in Sun Valley for many years, but the company had gone bankrupt. Asking around town where one might find parts like boot buckles, I was directed to an alley where I found this tiny closet of a place with one person and a lot of boxes of ski equipment. The owner shared with me that he purchased all of the parts from the company when it went under and was doing a thriving trade in selling parts all over the country.
Just then, the phone rang and he answered it, "Sun Valley Ski Products USA" or some variation on that. The caller wanted to speak to the "Shipping Department", so, with the aid of a little toy ray gun with a dial on the side that allowed the user to select different sound tones, the proprietor held up the toy gun to the receiver and the caller was transferred to the Shipping Department, whereupon the same person I was in front of picked up the line and handled the customer's query, using a slightly different voice. This happened a few more times with calls to "Marketing, Accounting, etc." and I could barely contain myself while this comedy unfolded in front of me.
When he finally had a spare minute, I asked him for the reason for this charade and he said that when he first started out in business no one took him seriously outside of the community and people were reluctant to place orders over the phone with a credit card or a purchase order number until he started to appear bigger than he really was. Same company, same service; the only change was that of perception.
Many years later, when I went to Sun Valley again to work on a building project, I asked a few longtime locals if they remembered this guy and, they did; today, he is a major boutique ski product manufacturer, operating out of Sun Valley, USA.
Next week: Creating personal power