When it comes to starting and maintaining a successful business, it could be argued that your reputation is the most important asset you have, especially now that everyone is on the internet and they can vent their views freely (and those views can potentially be read by millions of people)
So, it’s fair to say that, if you want to be successful, looking after your company’s reputation is of vital importance.
Of course, you could go one better and take active measures to actually improve the reputation of your business. Here are just some of the ways you may be able to do that:
#1 Contribute to Industry Debates
If there is one thing that can really enhance your reputation with both your customers and other people in your industry, it’s becoming a thought leader.
What does that mean? It simply means thinking more deeply about the industry you’re in and the work you do and engaging with everyone from your customers and clients to other industry leaders about these issues.
If you do this, your brand will become associated with innovation and leadership in the industry, and that can only be a good thing.
#2 Get a Better Address
This tip is a little more superficial, but it’s a good one for those of you who are startup owners working out of your own home.
By using virtual office services, you can immediately improve your perceived reputation by getting an upgrade on your business address and by having access to virtual receptionists and assistants who will help to give your customers a better experience.
It’s basically a cheap and cheerful way of making your business seem bigger.
#3 Encourage Positive Customer Reviews
Reviews are big business for the average business. Customers are more likely to buy from companies when they can see reviews about them first, especially if they aren’t a well-known brand, so it is of vital importance that, if you want to improve your company’s reputation, you have reviews.
Of course, if all of those reviews are bad reviews, you are going to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to achieve.
So, ensure that your customer services are impeccable and then strike at the exact time when customers are most likely to agree to give you a review or testimonial – perhaps after you’ve just given them a big discount or after you’ve solved a major issue for them faster than should be humanly possible.
Then, they are much more likely to give you a glowing review which will seriously benefit your business.
#4 Admit When Things Go Wrong
If there’s one thing that will ruin your reputation faster than almost anything else in business, it’s a coverup. Things can and do go wrong, and most reasonable people understand that.
What they do not understand, nor tolerate, though is an attempted cover-up. If you deny any wrongdoing, try to gloss over the situation and block out the client who has an issue, bad reviews and a bad reputation will be heading your way.
Conversely, if you admit to your mistakes as soon as you become aware of them, asl what you can do to fix them and work very hard to do so, even though the customer’s experience might not have been all it would be, your reputation as a company that does the right thing and actually cares about the customer will be given a boost.
#5 Sponsor a Charity or Event
Businesses should give back. Even if you’re a startup making a small profit, donating what little you can to a good cause or simply showing up to a local charity event where you can offer your assistance is not only the right thing to do but something which will undoubtedly help your company’s reputation.
#6 Don’t Get into Bed with the Wrong People
As an entrepreneur, you’re likely to form a lot of connections with a lot of people, but if you end up liking your business in any meaningful way with the wrong kind of people (people who are doing dodgy deals or breaking the law) even if you don’t know about it, when it comes out, it will taint your brand.
So, take a good look at all of your suppliers, employees, and companies you’re working with and if you find anything you don’t like, sever ties immediately!
It really is pretty easy for honest business owners to maintain a good reputation just by being themselves and being good people, but the above will undoubtedly help to give one’s reputation a bit of a boost.
What ways are you trying to improve your companies reputation? Share your thoughts and comments below.