"Nothing exciting, very small, just <insert type> business"
I have been networking intensively over the past year with my business and have heard this numerous times, I remember saying it myself as well. It is mostly down to lack of confidence or unsure of the direction of where their business is going in that I believe people play their business down and fail to promote properly. Over time, as my business plan looked more defined and I grew confidence I would build my business up in my description when speaking with others and have now got a proven track record and testimonials.
It's important you get feedback on your business from past customers/clients. It takes a lot of bravery on the part of the owner to get the responses though. The best way to get this feedback however is anonymously. You can arrange for a separate marketing company to get this in small focus groups or perhaps by survey with Survey Monkey. Then you need to consider what has and hasn't worked for you using the information collected.
Once you have conducted your analysis you can then honestly take your business onto the next step. Promoting your business gets easier with time and experience and you learn what your client base finds is the most attractive part of your business.
When I first started up, I thought perhaps being targeted to start-up and new business would be the best thing for me to attract business, but now I realise it's the 121 element that so far has attracted the most business for me (and being local has helped too!).
Placing my business in the right areas to be found has helped also - though with my particular business networking has brought about the most interest thus far.
From a small acorn does a great tree grow. If you always think yourself as a "small business" so will everyone else and won't see the possibilities for growth and progression within your company. So always be honest but optimistic with your introductions when meeting someone for the first time.
"My name is Melanie and I train business owners on a 121 basis in Social Media".