Even though there are millions of solopreneurs in the US and worldwide, some people don’t know that a one-person business is a viable and legitimate way to do business. Some solo business owners don’t even realize they have a real business! Because of this, some solopreneurs feel like they have to give the appearance of being bigger than they are. What are some ways to look big when you aren’t? Here’s a few:
- Write copy in the third person rather than the first person. “Michele works with……” sounds like there is at least one other person in the organization because someone has to be writing about Michele. “I work with…..” makes no bones about the fact that I both do the work and write the copy.
- Use voicemail greetings that convey a substantial physical set up. For example: “You have reached the offices of Michele Christensen. For customer service, press 1, members of the media press 2…, etc” This makes it seem like there are “offices” rather than a laptop on you coffee table, and it make it look like separate departments handle these requests.
- Refer to your team whether you have one or not.
To be clear, these are not necessarily deceitful practices. A person may like a formal website written in the third person. They may find it helps their efficiency to have voicemail messages sorted by need. They may use a team regularly but not have one now. A business owner may think that it is the best way to communicate with customers.
What I’m saying no to is practices that business owner engage in to deliberately give the impression of being bigger than a one-person operation. If you are a solopreneur, be clear about it and be proud of it! If someone wants to do business with a bigger company they may not hire you, but you’ll attract people who do want to do business with you. If a customer wants a big company and hires you thinking you are bigger than you are, they may be disappointed and feel deceived. That’s not a way to build a business or a reputation.
There are plenty of people who want to do business with solopreneurs. There are people who value the attention and accountability they get from solopreneurs. Some people like not having to deal with a big company or like supporting small business. Don’t underestimate the value of doing business with YOU!
Have you ever felt pressured to look bigger than you are? What did you do about it? Share it in the comments.
Not having to pretend you are something you are not is a big advantage of a solopreneur business. In my book “Is a Solopreneur Business Right for You?” I cover some of the other advantages and the disadvantages of this model as well. Check it out here.