Friday, 10 January 2014

Fat Bloke On A Plane

Whatever your level of business, what you should do must be proportionate to the rest of your business. If you are a small one man band you may consider a marketing spend of £1000 on something to be a big deal for you. If you are a larger business you may not. 
If you have a turnover of £3m or so a £3000 overdraft "in case of need" is no doubt out of proportion with your needs!
If you are running an online business you should not be struggling with a 12 year old lap top! 
If you have a maintenance and fitting business of some kind you should not be turning up in a 15 year old rusty van! 
If you are running a marketing business you should show a decent website yourself and not make do with an email address at hotmail!
All these are real examples which have come to my notice recently. In each case there is a mixed message delivered (at best) to your customers which raises questions on the strength and credibility of your business. 
The questions raised are either along the lines of "is this business as well established and competent as they say or are they flying a flag to appear more important than they are in some way?"
From the business point of view you can get away with it to some degree appearing to be bigger than you really are by being careful to present a professional looking and competent service. You can hide a local phone number or your location with an 0870 or 0800 number. You can compete against larger firms by taking stage payments. And so on.
But, if you have started a business aimed at gaining larger customer contracts be careful that you do not overload your presentation. It may be better to start with smaller contracts and work up. Some advantages may be that you get paid more often with less chance of a crippling bad debt. Your reputation for good work may spread from the smaller companies more readily and more often than with the one big company. Let's be a bigger fish in a smaller pond and be happy with that for now. 
To use another analogy for all this, if a fat bloke gets on a very small plane and sits on one side you have to accommodate that and compensate in some way. If he gets on a big transport plane no one will worry.   
Bob Shepherd Associates looks at the whole of a business and helps you get the external outsider's view.   

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