Successfully selling online is a continual challenge that is forever in need of a solid answer. You have your product or service (which, hopefully, you fully believe in, trust and use yourself, otherwise good luck instilling confidence into your customers), your delivery platform, your presentation platform, you're all set up and ready to go, now to market yourself.
But what about all those ads from big companies selling similar products, how can you compete with them? Well, are you so sure they are as big as you think? In the case of "I" versus "We" in advertising, people can feel a little uncomfortable, what they think is, lying to their customers about their real status and size as a business.
Customers want to feel confident about their purchases. They want to know that when they make a purchase, the process itself will be as simple, painless and hassle free as possible, their payment will go through, it will be shipped same day or within 1-2 business days, it will arrive timely and will be exactly the way they imagined it and how it was advertised. Customers also think that the bigger, richer and more established a business is, the more likely this will happen. Not always. Many companies can think too big of themselves and their customer service goes downhill and their reputation can very very easily get shattered. Customers also have "comfort zones", which, I think we can all relate to.
Now, about the "I" versus "We". If you are ethical in your business ideals and just want to be a great entrepreneur and offer great products and services and make a comfortable profit from them, you will obvious need to instil that same apparent confidence into your company for your (potential) customers. However, you don't need to feel pressured if it's a one man show. Think of it this way, do you have strong partnerships with your suppliers? That is a "We". Did your spouse or significant other help you decide on a business name? That is technically a "We", they helped you get to the establishing state of your business. Has your spouse or significant other offered to help look after things that you don't always need 100% attention on? That is a "We".
Yet another way to look at it is, do you contact consultants, contractors or other gurus to assist you when you need it? That is a "We". Many computer business owners, for example, have regular contact with a world wide network of fellow consultants, technicians and the like, so that is a "We" of collaboration and sharing of knowledge with each other.
So yes, when given some careful thought, you can say your one man show is a "We" if you like, and not have to feel guilty about "lying" to your customers about the true size of your operation. I think if you conduct and run your business ethically and just want to run a great business offering terrific products and services, your customers will have absolutely no problem with that. When your business grows, you will be able to afford to hire additional help for casual, part-time or full-time work taking over one of your duties such as accounts, purchase orders, invoicing or whatever you need.
Then, no matter how you look at it, you are definitely a "We". So don't worry too much about it, just run your business well, offer quality products, make good money, market yourself well and everything else should just fall into place. After all, you and your customers want the same thing. Reliable business that is there when you need them. That is, after all, what it will be. Good luck with your business!
Martin is the author of several books on web site development tweaks and computer service repair. He is available for writing projects of any size and can be contacted via his website at http://www.martincoleman.com