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3/27/2018

Building and Maintaining Your Business Reputation

In business and in life, money is necessary to survive, but your reputation is invaluable to succeed. Small business owners depend on interactions with others, from customers to other vendors and suppliers, so your reputation can easily impact those relationships and ultimately your rate of success. Reputation management is more important than ever in today’s digital society where you not only have to worry about your image in person but also your online presence. Building a solid reputation isn’t accomplished overnight, so expect that you will need to prove yourself time and time again before you’re recognized for your business’ noteworthy qualities.

Consistency

Key to cultivating a strong business reputation is being consistent in your strategy and execution. Forget whether you’re having a good or bad day, and show the enthusiasm and care for meeting your customers’ needs that inspired you to start your small business in the first place. If you are providing a great customer experience on one day and a subpar experience the next, customers won’t see you as someone they can turn to at any time with a problem. It’s also important to be consistent in your messaging so that your brand is top of mind when customers need something. Staying true to your brand message ensures that customers and prospects know what they can expect from your business.

Partnership

When small business owners think about whom their reputation might affect, typically customers and prospects are the audience that comes to mind. A company’s employees, however, are another important piece of the business reputation puzzle. Business owners who value their employees and treat them with respect will earn affection and cultivate a team that is committed to the company’s mission. Employees are a business’ ambassadors to the community, so business owners who take time to help employees grow and develop are also investing time in improving their reputation in the community. Seek out feedback from your employees and really listen to what they have to say – it may surprise you, or affirm decisions you were already contemplating.

Responsibility

Small business owners have a broad swath of responsibilities that they must be held accountable for, but one of the most impactful in maintaining a positive business reputation is the company’s finances. Managing your business’ financial resources responsibly and transparently shows that you respect your organization and aren’t afraid to confront challenges as they arise. Suppliers will trust business owners who have a clean financial record, so prioritizing your financial obligations can also help establish strong business relationships. Consider financing any equipment or technology your business needs or applying for a working capital loan to help keep your bottom line and your reputation in check.

Developing and upholding a respectable business reputation is a process that takes a lot of time and discipline, but it is well worth the effort. Remain steadfast in your business’ mission and you will be on your way to creating a reputation that will last.

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