How you present your business is extremely important. As well as your business image, your own integrity and values are reflected in your marketing.
So is it ever ok to lie?
We all want to present our business in the best light. Sometimes this might lead to embellishments, but it would almost certainly involve focussing on the positive aspects of our business and diverting thought away from any weaknesses we may have.
These may be to do with location, size of company, experience in some areas but not others, for example. If we are a small business trying to get work from larger clients, we are probably going to want to present ourselves as a little larger than we actually are.
Is this a lie, or misrepresentation? Technically one would have to say yes. In fact all we are doing is conforming to the potential clients’ view of themselves. Each business has its’ own self-image and owners want to deal with other businesses that reflect that image.
Adapting your business to present well to a specific prospect is no different to adapting your CV to different jobs. You accentuate aspects that are relevant. As long as you believe you can offer what you promise, there is no falsehood.
Some people feel that a virtual office – a paid-for business address in a location of your choice, professional telephone answering service, etc is tantamount to lying to your customers and prospects.
The flip side to this argument is that no-one should lose out on potential business just because they work from home. It does not mean they are any worse, professionally speaking. Indeed, many work from home successfully without their perceived lack (in some eyes) of a business identity being a hindrance.
If some companies do expect more, however, from their suppliers, then who is lying? The business who focuses on certain aspects to present them in the best way, or the company who has a high sense of its’ own importance and sees a difference in competence based simply on appearance?
For it to be a crime, an action must have a victim. Virtual office services simply reflect your business in the best light and do not promise anything that you cannot deliver. If this helps you succeed and give your clients the best service, where is the victim?