Big or Small

Inspired by ECWC post here:

Is it better for your business to “appear BIG or small”?

I always used to think bigger was better…but a famous window cleaner marketer told me last year that it was much better to appear small.


Anyone have comments about dealing with a big company like AT&T, Comcast Cable, etc? Typically frustrating if there is an issue to resolve? Yes, this is a generalization…

I enjoy providing a valued service with care for my customers.

the old lady says she likes it big.
just playin
but really

even though I am a one man show, I try to hint that i am a bigger “family owned” business. Im sure people will figure me out sooner or later.

I tell people that i am a one man show and that i am the best in the west Coast…

What is a one man sow? Dare I ask?

From Wikipedia:

Sow may refer to:

[]sow, a female badger.
]sow, a female bear.
[]sow, a female pig.
]sow, a shape in which metal is cast.
[*]sow, a type of siege engine.

I think you should just portray yourself as you are. In my case a medium sized company with 3 employees and working owner and in your case the Microsoft of window cleaning.

I change it up depending on what client I’m trying to acquire. For a high end residential client, I try to appear as the busiest one man show around. I have found that you’ll get better results if you schedule them out a week or so in advance, rather then next day service. This gives them an automatic impression that you’re busy, plus more time for them to tell their neighbors what there having done, and more time for you to sell!

For commercial, I think I let them think that I’m much larger; rather then saying “I” can take care of them, I would say “We” can take care of them.

I’ve never really thought about this before, so I don’t think I would say I’ve done it on purpose. Just the way I’ve perceived was the best way to sell the job.

well what I meant was, do you want to be seen as a large put together service or a dude that cleans windows?
Of course different strokes for different folks and being yourself is key, but I think the real goal in this business is to provide a service that people want and appreciate while making money for yourself. Most people want the service instead of the dude, or at least that’s what I’ve run into 99.999% of the time.

You are right though Micah, you do have to adapt to varies situations and people. I’m now trying to stay away from small family businesses and asian owned places (no offense to any asain wc’s out there)…to much hassle, I shifting my focus else where.
There’s like 5 asain nails salons like in every plaza…AHHH!!!
can you say CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP!!! you pay them to clean their windows and they love you long time

Forgot the “H”

I made it a specific point this last spring to emphasize that I was a one man operation. The angle was “I give you the personalized service larger companies can’t deliver.”

I did this through fliers and my web site. The results were excellent when it came to my web site. I got a lot of good feedback about how it was great seeing the guy who was actually going to do the work.

My flier returns were disappointing though. I think putting the focus on me (in any way, shape or form) was a mistake. I should have just stuck with an offer of sorts and then when I’m quoting the jobs I can get into the benefits of being serviced by a one-man-show.

If you are customizing your approach from one man show to bigger company depending on your customer, how do you reflect that variance on your web site?

2 websites…?

I dare someone to find me anything proving either is better.

The tough thing is that people all perceive things differently. They might not care, they might not pay attention or they might not trust you because you seem tiny (not you ecwc ;)) or you do not have a crew show up, so they think of you in a certain way.

Do you know how I get around this? I just get them to think about what I am offering and how great they will feel hiring me. Be personable and do a good job and they will not care in the end.

The “big or small” thing plays on our fragile egos a lot more than determining our perceived presence.

well that is what I think anyway…

I’m not sure if you are asking me this question. I’m not sure I really understand the question.

But to clarify, I’ve only been marketing myself as a one-man-show. This has worked great on my web site, lousy on fliers. When people go to your web site, it’s because they are interested in window cleaning already and they will make a decision about whether to use you based on info supplied (company profile, offers, service descriptions, etc) With fliers, it’s all about the offer.

And to add to what CFP was saying, benefits of being big or small is really just perception. I’ve had some people call me and were relieved it was just me that was going to do the work and I’ve had customers who keep asking me questions about my crew and they seem unimpressed when I tell them it’s just me. 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.

good point…

I tend to agree with this. Before I had employees, I always made a big deal of the personal service of the “owner” being present. Since hiring people, I still make a big deal of great service from a friendly technician and post service follow up.

When I hired people some customers who were used to seeing me were a little surprised, but now most people don’t expect to see me anymore. Yesterday in fact a customer asked for one of my technician’s name because he wanted to “request” him every service.

Would that be a “bakers dozen”?

No, a baker’s dozen is 13 items. Just in case you ever get this question at some lame trivia party. :smiley:

I like hearing other peoples views. I’m only 20 yrs old, so hearing a wiser point of view from experience brings me back to earth sometimes if you understand what I mean.

Like Chris said, 'I used to thing bigger was better".
I think fast, big and faster…but what do you expect from 20? HAHA!!!