Business is often all about who you know, how you manage relationships and what people think of your brand. In lots of ways, business is like a playground popularity contest: you are always vying for attention but wary that your reputation could be lost to a competitor at any moment.
97% of business owners believe that online business reputation is important but the real question is what influences your reputation in the first place and how can you manage it?
Your business reputation is often reduced down to the products and services you provide. If you are ripping people off with excessive costs or poor products, your reputation will undoubtedly suffer; on the flip side, if you are producing fantastic products that your customers can’t remember life without, your reputation will soar.
What is really interesting, though, is how fake products imitating your good brand can impact your reputation. Customers who bought fake electronics frequently reported that they would avoid the brand in the future, even though the brand had nothing to do with the fraud. This just goes to show that while you must be thinking about how your business comes across from your angle, you must also be on the look out for fraudsters and make it more difficult for them to copy what you’re doing.
One of the first things you should do as a beginner entrepreneur is to think about the direction you are going in. This means looking at your business and deciding what sort of impact you want to have and how you will achieve it. For example, a luxury soap company might want to bring fancy soaps to the people in an ethical manner and go about it by manufacturing onsite and avoiding products tested on animals.
Once you have a clear direction, you must communicate that to your customers because this is what your reputation will be judged against. If you are consistent, stick to the rules you have set for yourself and you maintain your business integrity, your reputation will improve as more people trust you.
Every company will have a problem with it’s reputation at some point. Perhaps you have been let down by malfunction during production or maybe you said the wrong thing to the wrong person. The fact is that managing your reputation is something you have to get used to and do every day – not just on bad days.
A good way to manage your reputation is to talk to the people who matter most: your customers. Taking and responding to feedback positively is always a good idea but you should also put any suggestions that make sense into real action. Even if you had a problem, how you solved it can be a real boost to your reputation and show that you are willing to evolve and get better.
Your business reputation isn’t static and will be affected by any number of things. The best approach you can have is to listen and respond positively. That’s the real magic of reputation management.
Young at heart and a deep passion for entrepreneurial success, Reginald is devoted to share everything he had learned about online marketing with the public. Follow him for more awesome postings.