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BUSINESS - When Business Perception is Business Reality

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WHEN BUSINESS PERCEPTION IS BUSINESS REALITY
BY HOWARD T. BRODY
In the ever-changing dog eat dog world of business, small upstart business owners are constantly put to the test in fighting for the almighty dollar. Why? Because more and more consumers are gun-shy in dealing with a small company, for fear that they may not be around in six months.

As a small business owner, there is a way for you to combat that fear: PERCEPTION.

It was the late American political consultant, Lee Atwater – strategist to the Republican Party, chairman of the Republican National Committee and an advisor for U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush – who coined the phrase “perception is reality.” The phrase not only holds true for politics, but it holds true for upstart businesses, as well.

A growing trend for small business owners to combat this fear is by creating the perception that their business is bigger than it is. They do this by establishing a central office through one of the many shared or virtual office companies that have multiple locations (like Da Vinci and Regus, for example) and then use that company’s network of locations to establish satellite offices. So, for example, for less money than it would cost you to have a single, standalone office in Los Angeles to provide your product or service to the area, you could have a main office in L.A., with satellite offices in Beverly Hills, Pasadena and Burbank. Not only would you now provide a “Wow” factor to your potential customer base because you have prestigious addresses, but depending on where you have to be and who you have to meet, you have the ability of literally meeting in your client’s backyard. While this business model obviously wouldn’t apply to small business retailers, for the service industry it’s an ideal solution.

Popular coffee houses like Tim Hortons, The Coffee Bean and Starbucks might be okay for some, but for the long haul, they are not business-friendly environments when it comes to sharing confidential information. Remember, walls have ears. Plus, it can get pretty expensive buying $4 cups of coffee all day, with the biggest cost being the customers who are lost because your company has no brick and mortar presence.

Working from home isn’t the answer either. While it may be a short-term solution or a temporary stop-gap, in the long run, there are simply too many distractions at home. Unless you are the type who can simply tune out everything around you, distractions like the TV, the kids (if you have any), the family pet, the refrigerator, and any one of a hundred other things that are simply alternatives to focusing on what you need to do to get your work done.

So, next time you are meeting that all-important potential client at Starbucks and the guy next to you makes an inappropriate comment about a female at the register, don’t scratch your head wondering why you weren’t able to land the big fish that could turn your business around.

Howard T. Brody is the Vice President & Director of Operations for the Las Vegas office of Louis Mamo & Company, a business solutions firm that has been servicing clients for more than 30 years. For more information on Howard or the company, visit: lmc123nv.com or call: 702-931-2022.

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