Sun 16 Apr 2006
No one starts a big business. It just doesn't happen. Businesses start small and grow. You can't flip the switch and have a megalithic organization overnight.
Small business owners, passionate about their product or service, may need to rely on other companies to do some of the jobs they don't (or can't) do themselves so they can spend their time specializing in the parts of the job that they like to do. Other times, you simply need a small business to look big in order to land the big client (which is how Faith Popcorn, author of The Popcorn Report did to get her first client).
So don't ask yourself what you can do for others, ask what others can do for you!
Need writing, marketing, accounting, sales, telemarketing, or web design services? Sites like www.Guru.com and www.elance.com let your small business appear big. Other services can be obtained on an ongoing basis from a business process outsourcing (BPO) company like http://www.egensource.com.
Use a virtual assistant from services like www.onebox.com to manage your incoming calls. Use services like www.getfriday.com for a more complete virtual assistant to send correspondence, pay bills, etc.
Need a bigger office? Services from companies like www.hq.com offer the home based business a prestigious address, along with meeting rooms, mail forwarding, and call answering services.
To get her first client, business futurist Faith Popcorn rented a large office and "staffed" it with family and friends talking on phones that didn't connect to the wall. Since then, her firm has enjoyed huge, legitimate growth offering business forecasting services. You, too, might find that there are times when you'll gain an edge by acting bigger than you are. Or, maybe you just want to focus on your core competencies and let specialists take care of the details.