One man company, good idea to be honest or not?


5

So currently I am the sole author of my software product.

Should I reveal that this is a one man army? Such as creating facebook pages, linked-in which shows that this is a one personell operation?

Would this affect my conversions?

Basically I am looking for a down to earth approach to engage and represent my company to the end user customers.

Communication

asked Nov 22 '11 at 15:06
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Kim Jong Woo
644 points

5 Answers


17

I am a one-man band too; many other startups are. For several years I was selling customer database software and learned there are many one-man shops in that category. My customers ranged from small to the largest corporations.

My take is that business customers prefer suppliers of "comparable" sizes. That is, small and medium-sized businesses are ok with one-man shops, but large companies have a preference for suppliers with multiple employees for a business-critical system. To them, it is security and continuity of service. If your software is for personal use, people won't care at all.

Your conversions will be affected by quality of your website or page, quality of the product, support and many other things. The size of your team ranks below all of those in importance - don't stress about it.

Two things I do myself and recommend:

  1. when communicating with the client on behalf of the company, say "we", not "I".
  2. if you are using external help - consultants, web designer, etc, list them in the about page as the team who helped you with the product. Nobody cares if they are employees or contractors - what counts is that you have working relationships with them
answered Nov 22 '11 at 16:28
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Sergei Veinberg
429 points
  • great answer +1 – Kim Jong Woo 9 years ago
  • You make great points. I have used these tactics in the past with success. – Evik James 9 years ago

2

Generally there is some mental perception that bigger is better. Appear as big as possible without lying. There is nothing wrong with building an outward perception of "big time" even if you are a one man band. You have a cool product, you are BIG TIME! Perception is reality in sales. Start a facebook page and buy 10k fans from socialkik or one of the many others. It's the new, "I'm big and happening" trust badge. We are a small firm, 25 people, with 15k fans and you would be amazed how many people say, "wow, you have a lot of fans. I trust you."

Stupid, but it works like a meaningless etrust or verisign badge.

answered Nov 23 '11 at 04:22
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Bryan
21 points
  • how to get those etrust and verisign badges? Do I have to ask permission for those to? – Kim Jong Woo 9 years ago
  • +1 nice strategy!! – Kim Jong Woo 9 years ago

1

You don't need to reveal this but don't try to hide it too much either. Clients are not stupid and if they figure it out and see that you are kind of "ashamed" of being a one-man band they may become reluctant.

answered Nov 22 '11 at 21:34
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Jordi Cabot
243 points

1

Body count is hardly the only measure of stability or reliability. As far as what will affect conversions, it sounds like you need to test. You may be thinking, "Once I tell the world I am a lone ranger there will be no taking it back." That is not true. Don't get delusions of grandeur, the world isn't paying that close of attention to you. On the other hand, if it is you must be a pretty big deal and therefore your individual celebrity is a plus.

answered Nov 23 '11 at 07:41
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Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points

1

Transform you disadvantages in advantages as this SmartBear article says...
http://blog.asmartbear.com/convert-shortcomings-into-advantages-without-lying.html

answered Nov 23 '11 at 10:00
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Nestor Sanchez A
690 points
  • great article that is really useful – Kim Jong Woo 9 years ago

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