It’s a sad fact of business, but clients aren’t always objective in the methods they use to decide if you’re good. Instead, they look at the state of your office, the size of your car and the number of people you employ. And after they’ve done all that, then they make up their mind. But, of course, none of these things really mean all that much. They’re more often a function of how long a company has been going than a reflection of the quality of the service.
The trick here is to put all that stuff on show when you need it and save on costs the rest of the time. This is what small businesses should do.
Rent Out A Luxury Ride
If you know you’re going to be entertaining clients for the day; you probably don’t want to drive them around in your 1.6 litre Toyota Auris. Instead, you’d like some kind of executive car that’s designed to impress. Renting a car represents an additional cost. But if it helps you make the deal, then it’s surely worth it.
Most run-of-the-mill car rental services offer luxury cars for rent. Both Hertz and Enterprise offer Jaguars and Porsches for the day.
Don’t Use Your Home Office
If you’re running a small business or a startup, there’s every chance you’re working from home. And given the cost of rent, that might be your only option right now. But a home office or home address might not impress your potential clients. If they have been in business themselves, they’ll immediately understand what’s going on.
Startups, however, don’t have to put up with a home address. Instead, they can invest in what is known as a virtual office. Sites like yourvirtualofficelondon.co.uk explain the concept in detail. Essentially, startups pay a fee for another company to host their physical address. The company then gets a virtual location, to which all correspondence is sent. All this mail is then forwarded to the actual address of the business.
Some virtual office providers also provide telephone support for your business on your behalf. Again, having a secretary helps your business appear larger than it really is.
Use Travel Credit Cards
If you want to rub shoulders with the right people, you have to be in the right place at the right time. There’s no better place to meet people than while you’re travelling. But affording business class tickets, VIP lounge membership and top hotels isn’t cheap.
Companies that use travel credit cards, therefore, can put themselves at a distinct advantage. Many business credit cards have perks that allow customers to upgrade. And these upgrades often require only a few thousand pounds to activate. If you do your homework, you’ll find that there are usually ways to double your points and activate offers sooner.
Techcrunch.com recently covered the story of the new sharing economy startup Jump Seat. It’s a bit like Airbnb, except, it’s used to trade places on private jets. You might not own a private jet, but there’s nothing to stop you from hitching a ride on somebody else’s before meeting a client.