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In Los Angeles, Kris Martinsek, a Milwaukee consultant in project management and marketing, proudly invites clients to her small office, a trawler docked in the harbor.
It used to be her West Coast office but, now that she has taken it to Mexico, she jokingly calls it "international headquarters."
It's a lighthearted example of what can be a big issue for some very small businesses: Should you use smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of larger size or scope? Or do prospective clients equate small with efficient and responsive?
Judging from the flood of how-to-start-a-business books and articles out there, a bigger image must be better. Experts and consultants seem to delight in coming up with ways to create illusions of grandeur, such as tacking "& Associates" onto your name or using a post office box.
One consultant argues that the main thing is to make sure every message you send -- such as adding "U.S.A." …