When my company first started out we were pretty much a virtual company. Two guys (later 3) working from their kitchen tables. We were able to garner several large consulting and research contracts, put on a couple large symposiums around the country, produced and sold several DVDs and books, I had a speaking engagement at least once a month and the company sponsored and had naming rights on an international team of athletes who I coached by correspondence (because we didn’t have a training site). We had no overhead so speak of and no permanent physical presence. To the customers, clients, and athletes we worked with we were bigger than we actually were. We always tried to present ourselves as professional and ‘bonafide’ even when we weren’t. Looking the part. Acting the part. Having a great website. And providing the highest level of service we possibly could.
Flash forward to today, and we still do all of the above (to a larger scale) and have a large training and research center in NC and training contracts with several professional sport teams. Expenses have obviously increased but so has exposure, company awareness, and profit. A big part of this was the bolded text above. Even when you’re small don’t act like it. I’m not sure if we were faking it (since I believe the quality of service was great), but we made a conscious decision to never look like a ‘ma-pa’ business. We always thought of ourselves as ‘big time waiting to happen.’ And while we’re not even close to truly being ‘big time’ the strategy is definitely paying off.