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JosephLeo
07-28-2010, 09:42 PM
I am currently a one man show. But I am wondering if it's ethical to make myself look more that a "computer guy" and more of a company by saying things like "We at Nerds for Hire" or "I'll send it back to the office" meaning my garage outfitted to be an office.

I feel a bit naughty, but I do plan on opening a shop by the end of the year. I found some great deals in my area, a 900sq. ft. $1,200/mo. NNN retail shop located in a strip mall around the corner from me. It's still being built and won't be finished till the end of the year. I also plan to involve one of my old friends here in Lakewood in my business as a staff member very soon as well.

But let's say I don't go through with all of this. Would it still be ethical?

14049752
07-28-2010, 09:51 PM
What's wrong with just being honest? You can still say "workshop" or "office" or whatever if you have a home office.

I'm also not implying that what you're saying is dishonest or unethical...but I see no reason why you should purposefully hide that you're a one-man operation.

Cybjun
07-28-2010, 09:52 PM
If you have a business license then it proper to refer to use "we" to refer as a part of the business. as far as the using a garage as an office. I dont see anything wrong with that work space is work space.

Martyn
07-28-2010, 09:55 PM
I asked this recently to a friend of mine who is an entrepreneur. He said always say we as this gives the impression you are a company not a one man band. Companies like the idea you have the resources. He said you can always turn work down but it's better to get the offer than to not get it at all. :)

You can always say if they do find you are a one man band you plan to expand shortly. I plan for my son to join me when business picks up.

Rider
07-28-2010, 10:15 PM
"Back to the office" is no problem, it's your garage, you can refer to it as an office if you like. "We" is a bit misleading but you can justify it if you have a family member or girlfriend that acts in a support role. For instance, does your girlfriend occassionally take calls for you? There's your "we" right there. Symantics is an art. I despise lieing and I avoid it at all cost. I will, however, state something in a way that means one thing but strongly suggests another. Another for instance, "I'll take this computer back to the office and a technician will get right on it." As long as you get right on it, that is not a lie what so ever. It does, however, imply that someone other than you will look at it.

Back to the girlfriend, you can also say "I'll take this back to the shop and make sure a technician gets right on it. And, as is company policy, someone from the office will keep you updated on the progress and notify you the moment it is ready." This statement is entirely true and although you alone are the company, it certainly doesn't sound that way. It also implies you have considerable infrastructure, a shop (the garage) and an office (the corner where the phone is).

Big business uses symantics all the time so it's certainly ok for the little guy to do the same. Just don't lie.

Rider

Majestic
07-28-2010, 11:25 PM
I am currently a one man show. But I am wondering if it's ethical to make myself look more that a "computer guy" and more of a company by saying things like "We at Nerds for Hire" or "I'll send it back to the office" meaning my garage outfitted to be an office.

I feel a bit naughty, but I do plan on opening a shop by the end of the year. I found some great deals in my area, a 900sq. ft. $1,200/mo. NNN retail shop located in a strip mall around the corner from me. It's still being built and won't be finished till the end of the year. I also plan to involve one of my old friends here in Lakewood in my business as a staff member very soon as well.

But let's say I don't go through with all of this. Would it still be ethical?

First of all if you're operating a business you can simply say your office. It really makes no difference whether you have a retail shop or not as long as you can get the job done. Don't feel self-conscious about this, it's not necessary. Furthermore, until you expand enough where it justified the need for the extra overhead expenses why even bother to open up a shop? When you're ready do it but there's no point to expand without the need to.

Be confident, no need to justify yourself. You don't need the approval of your clients. You need to make yourself a solid reputation to begin with.

Majestic

iptech
07-28-2010, 11:59 PM
I am currently a one man show. But I am wondering if it's ethical to make myself look more that a "computer guy" and more of a company by saying things like "We at Nerds for Hire" or "I'll send it back to the office" meaning my garage outfitted to be an office.

I feel a bit naughty, but I do plan on opening a shop by the end of the year. I found some great deals in my area, a 900sq. ft. $1,200/mo. NNN retail shop located in a strip mall around the corner from me. It's still being built and won't be finished till the end of the year. I also plan to involve one of my old friends here in Lakewood in my business as a staff member very soon as well.

But let's say I don't go through with all of this. Would it still be ethical?Not really, but I'm sure you'll do it anyway.

Thanks for asking us to condone your lack of professional ethics.

JosephLeo
07-29-2010, 12:21 AM
What's wrong with just being honest? You can still say "workshop" or "office" or whatever if you have a home office.

I'm also not implying that what you're saying is dishonest or unethical...but I see no reason why you should purposefully hide that you're a one-man operation.

I guess there is nothing wrong with being honest. But it just sounds wrong when I say "I at Nerds for Hire" of course, I could just skip the "we at" or "I at" part and just put Nerds for Hire.



If you have a business license then it proper to refer to use "we" to refer as a part of the business. as far as the using a garage as an office. I dont see anything wrong with that work space is work space.

I don't have a business license unless you mean a D.B.A. which I do have.



I asked this recently to a friend of mine who is an entrepreneur. He said always say we as this gives the impression you are a company not a one man band. Companies like the idea you have the resources. He said you can always turn work down but it's better to get the offer than to not get it at all. :)

You can always say if they do find you are a one man band you plan to expand shortly. I plan for my son to join me when business picks up.

Thanks for the advice. It does sound more professional, at least in my ears.



"Back to the office" is no problem, it's your garage, you can refer to it as an office if you like. "We" is a bit misleading but you can justify it if you have a family member or girlfriend that acts in a support role. For instance, does your girlfriend occassionally take calls for you? There's your "we" right there. Symantics is an art. I despise lieing and I avoid it at all cost. I will, however, state something in a way that means one thing but strongly suggests another. Another for instance, "I'll take this computer back to the office and a technician will get right on it." As long as you get right on it, that is not a lie what so ever. It does, however, imply that someone other than you will look at it.

Back to the girlfriend, you can also say "I'll take this back to the shop and make sure a technician gets right on it. And, as is company policy, someone from the office will keep you updated on the progress and notify you the moment it is ready." This statement is entirely true and although you alone are the company, it certainly doesn't sound that way. It also implies you have considerable infrastructure, a shop (the garage) and an office (the corner where the phone is).

Big business uses symantics all the time so it's certainly ok for the little guy to do the same. Just don't lie.

Rider

I see, thanks. Well yes my wife (not legally married, so I guess girlfriend is correct) does in fact answer my phone. But isn't that going off a long shot. Plus she won't be on any records as she isn't an employee since there isn't any company other than Joseph Leo d.b.a. Nerds for Hire.



First of all if you're operating a business you can simply say your office. It really makes no difference whether you have a retail shop or not as long as you can get the job done. Don't feel self-conscious about this, it's not necessary. Furthermore, until you expand enough where it justified the need for the extra overhead expenses why even bother to open up a shop? When you're ready do it but there's no point to expand without the need to.

Be confident, no need to justify yourself. You don't need the approval of your clients. You need to make yourself a solid reputation to begin with.

Majestic

Thanks, I'll keep that in mind.



Thanks everyone so far for the insightful advice. Anyone else have any meaninful input?

Xander
07-29-2010, 12:52 AM
If you get in the habit of find phrasings and sticking to them, you don't have to play up the fact that you're a one-man band.

"I'll take it back with me to the office and put it on the (not 'my') work bench for testing."
"At eHousecalls, your data's safety is a priority" (rather than '...we consider your data...')
Voicemail: "Thanks for calling... you'll be called back ASAP" (rather than "I/we will call you back...")

Personally, when face to face with a customer, I play up the fact that it's just me. I'm personable, friendly, and never talk down to them. I'm not a faceless corporation.

K007
07-29-2010, 12:55 AM
correct, if you have a business that is LLC or LTD or INC, then there is we.
1 is the director (in some cases 2 directors are needed)
2 is the secretary
3 is the company itself which is an entity.
Saying we, means your company
Saying we at "My Comapany Name" means at least you and the secretary
Technically speaking is correct to say we.
Misleading, maybe... but what is not misleading in commerce today?
Few examples:
- £9.99
- £199.99
- Was 70.99 now 40.99 (yeah right, as soon as it went on the shelf they put the price label you see now)
- Buy one get second for half price (Sorry, can I buy just the second one please????):cool:
- 5 for 4
and the list goes on....

Edit:
By the way, did any of you read that book called "200% Of Nothing"?
Oh, and another one... "we at company name put 110% effort into keeping our customers satisfied"

Corbin
07-29-2010, 01:31 AM
I was once told if you have to question something be ethical after you ask once then its most likely not. It was good advice but I don't think its the most ethical to go by.

RegEdit
07-29-2010, 08:30 AM
Lots of plumbers and electricians operate out of their homes. Just refer to yourself by your company name.
Check local ordinances to see if you can legally have customers show up at your house. Some cities don't allow it and some do. In my area you are allowed no more than one customer per hour, you can't have signs out in front of your house, you can operate from 8 AM to 8 PM, you can't be a burden to your neighbors, etc. Having said all that, if it's illegal in your area it's probably like J-walking or illegal immigration -- rarely enforced.

MobileTechie
07-29-2010, 09:12 AM
I don't think it's unethical to give the impression of being a more substantial concern as long as you don't actually lie or start saying things like "Sorry I'm just taking the lift to the 8th floor so I might get cut off...morning Sarah how was the wedding?....oh sorry about that I just talking to one of the admin girls".

You're not hurting anyone or taking anything from someone.

Almost all websites use "we" even if there is only an "I". Referring to the room you work in as an office or workshop is perfectly fine.

Eddie
07-29-2010, 12:30 PM
I use the term "we" when referring to my company even though it's just myself working. It's just a habit I've got in to and have stuck with it.

Hercomputers
07-29-2010, 12:49 PM
Not really, but I'm sure you'll do it anyway.

Thanks for asking us to condone your lack of professional ethics.

Ohhh...uh, ok-:)

Joe, I'm out of Central, NJ and it's me right now and I keep it that way (for now) At the same time I'm very general, like I may word my ad or site 'Someome from Her-Computer-Services will get right back to you'. Again, I keep it very general but I don't 'plural-ize' it.

I'm renting office space in a large building near the train station and I wish it was store-front but whatever you have, you can work with it. If, right now it's a garage but it's your's office or work space, you can word it as such. But just be honest...if you're not, it will bite you in the butt and people may be turned off by it. If you're dishonest with any of your advertising, potential customers may start to wonder what else you would be dishonest about. Just my three cents.

K007
07-29-2010, 03:09 PM
what a bunch of "concerned citizens" LMAO.
Your customer will come back to you if you did a good job, helo?
This is not a door to door business we are in.
On the other hand, if you ephasize the "I" then a customer could say you are one of those people who think the world about themselves. That is even more dangerous to your business.

Someone said the word "dishonest"....
Well guys, I say "we", and while I may be dishonest by saying "we" (by some standards) then I am more than honest with my prices, unlike some other fellow members who I am reading they are charging an arm and a leg for a hose call or a virus clean-up.
At the end of the day your honesty lies deeply in your customer's mind.
Don't boast about how honest you are, or how dishonest others are.
Ask your customers what they think, and you'll get the right picture.

@iptech
if the push comes to shove, just take it from me, is "I, Myself and Irene"

Cerberus LLC
07-29-2010, 04:02 PM
I am currently a one man show. But I am wondering if it's ethical to make myself look more that a "computer guy" and more of a company by saying things like "We at Nerds for Hire" or "I'll send it back to the office" meaning my garage outfitted to be an office.

I feel a bit naughty, but I do plan on opening a shop by the end of the year. I found some great deals in my area, a 900sq. ft. $1,200/mo. NNN retail shop located in a strip mall around the corner from me. It's still being built and won't be finished till the end of the year. I also plan to involve one of my old friends here in Lakewood in my business as a staff member very soon as well.

But let's say I don't go through with all of this. Would it still be ethical?

If you have split personality disorder you are golden. Just kidding. I suppose there is a fine line to walk here. I just ask myself WWJD....oh no that's Jesus. I mean WWCD, what would a customer do? If he/she showed up at your garage/shop that is. Would that hurt you bad when he told everybody his desktop was sitting next to a grinder and some WD40? Or would he say you were being frugal and smart? Hard question to answer here. :) Just do what you think is right.

K007
07-29-2010, 04:17 PM
If you have split personality ...
btw Brian are you a one man show?
If yes, then why do sign as President/CEO?
Chief Executive Officer of the board, which board is how numerous?

BostonGeek1
07-29-2010, 04:45 PM
Stop stressing out over stuff like this. Imagine yourself to be a 5 person shop. You can be Senior Technician, or Service Manager. I would inflate your duties by 1-2 steps to look like a larger shop, but I wouldn't say 'CFO, CEO', or any C-level stuff...that immediately says you're small time.

iptech
07-29-2010, 06:53 PM
Yet another pointless thread that's dragging Technibble even further down the pan. :mad:

Xander
07-29-2010, 07:56 PM
I don't see a thread like this as pointless at all. It's someone asking for business advice on how to better present himself to the public.

MrUnknown
07-29-2010, 08:17 PM
Yet another pointless thread that's dragging Technibble even further down the pan. :mad:

Unlike your informative and helpful posts. Keep em coming!

norm1320
07-29-2010, 09:51 PM
Around here, it's just common use of the language that a company is a "we" even if it is just one person.

Cerberus LLC
07-29-2010, 10:30 PM
I don't see a thread like this as pointless at all. It's someone asking for business advice on how to better present himself to the public.

I agree somewhat to this.

SThompson86
07-29-2010, 10:49 PM
I advertise as "WE" but once I get someone on the phone and feel comfortable with them, I let them know I am a one man show. I just always make sure I feel like their is a level of trust between me and the customer kinds like a SYN ACK 3 way hand shake, once I feel like we have a 3 way hand shake I will let them know that I am a one man shop.

Rodrick
07-30-2010, 05:23 AM
Good advice:

Though you may think that a customer can be fooled by exaggerations on the number of staffers in your company or the breadth of your offerings, the smart ones, the ones you really want, will always learn the truth — whether through intuition or deduction. Embarrassingly, I've been a part of white lies like this in the past, and none of those situations ever resulted in what matters most to a business: meaningful, lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with people who had a real need for the services offered. The better course would have been to be proudly, defiantly truthful about the exact size and breadth of the company.

—Khoi Vinh, Subtraction.com
Any time at all

Via: http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch03_Be_Yourself.php

iptech
07-30-2010, 08:37 AM
Good advice:

Though you may think that a customer can be fooled by exaggerations on the number of staffers in your company or the breadth of your offerings, the smart ones, the ones you really want, will always learn the truth — whether through intuition or deduction. Embarrassingly, I've been a part of white lies like this in the past, and none of those situations ever resulted in what matters most to a business: meaningful, lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with people who had a real need for the services offered. The better course would have been to be proudly, defiantly truthful about the exact size and breadth of the company.

—Khoi Vinh, Subtraction.com
Any time at all

Via: http://gettingreal.37signals.com/ch03_Be_Yourself.php
Absolutely spot on!

*** Filler text ***

BostonGeek1
07-30-2010, 05:58 PM
as long as you're not saying something that's not true, there's no reason to explicitly knock yourself down. If you're doing a great job and then somehow the client realizes that you're a one man show , they're not going to think 'oh what a liar, he's got a website that looks like he's got a big company, but he's really a one-man show'. Unless you're doing something like promising 24/7 support, and making them buy phoen support contracts or promising to always answer, and then letting them see you answer the phone to service other clients....i don't see a big deal. When you start making promises you can't deliver on, that's when you run into problems.

Rodrick
07-30-2010, 10:17 PM
Instead of asking if it's ethical to try and represent yourself as something your not, why don't you emphasize what you bring to the table that large faceless companies cannot? A one man band can provide a much more personal level of customer service, they are always the same person to work when the customer has issues so the customer knows what they are getting from one call to the next, and as the owner and operator of the business you have a much more personal stake in making sure each and every customer is happy than an employee would.

hyper1pua
07-31-2010, 01:59 PM
You might be a one-man show when it comes to fixing computers but if your girlfriend is participating in administering your business then technically it is "we". I do have a business license (sole proprietor for now) but my wife talks to customers, calls them, goes to make flyer drops around the city (even though she is not on the books as an employee) etc. so I do say "we". I also have a friend who is willing to jump in and lend a hand when needed.

john
www.ad-techsupport.com

K007
07-31-2010, 04:02 PM
Hello Gays.............

:eek:
Now don't get offended, English is not my first language either.
Guys = boys
Gays = homosexuals
I laugh my arse off when I see or hear this kind of blunders... :p:p:p

What a difference a single letter makes in English language...

NeutronTech
08-04-2010, 03:49 AM
I have taken a couple classes on advertising and sole proprietorship. Each said to never refer to yourself as "I" in print. Always refer to yourself as "we" on your webpage, flyers, etc. It has nothing to do with honesty, ethics, or integrity. It's simply a buzz word, so to speak, that emphasizes that you are a professional business and take your business seriously. Now, it isn't right to tell a customer that you have others working for you or anything like that. When people read the word "we" they won't even remember reading that when they come into your shop and see only you. Most of the time they won't even realize it's just you anyways. It just won't matter to them for it to even cross their mind. But if you tell them that you have multiple techs and they find out you don't, that will give a negative impression.

layoric
08-04-2010, 05:47 AM
Hmmmm....

What we do, or I do, oi, confused on starting the sentence now :confused:

Whatever... What I do is:

- Have a cool phone menu system to sound bigger.
- Business shirts planned for family members.
- Answer the phone as business name
- Say things like, need to bring system back to the shop
- Say we can, or I will - when appropriate
- Have a website that says we a lot

My wife helps me with the business, as she has vested interest in it (plus I have some health issues). I occasionally enlist another family member to assist in jobs, and plan on getting her more work when I get more busy.

All that said, my business name is "I" Recover Data (dot com), but it can be thought of as just me (one guy), a single tech, or the business itself. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this whole thing is open to interpretation, although I continually try to make the business look larger than it is, in an attempt to get different clients, although it clearly states that it is a home based business. :eek:

I'm starting to sound like Sybil...