With so much emphasis on social media and online reviews these days, watching your reputation has never been more important. When most people think about reputation associated with their business, they immediately think about customer satisfaction and what the buzz is on the internet. However, when you are a startup or small business, the reputation of the owners, managers, and other leadership can be just as important. There are many consequences to not managing your reputation properly, and they can manifest themselves in many ways depending on how your good name has been tarnished.Personal Reputations
One of the most taken of granted elements of any small business or startup is the reputation of important people within the company. Everyone from the CEO, project leads, or even investors can play a huge role in how people view your business, so making sure you get everything right is very important. If a potential customer views certain people in your business in a negative light (even if it is for personal choices made outside the workplace) you can easily lose a sale. Likewise, if a potential investor has concerns about someone’s character, you could lose much needed capital to expand your small business. The bottom line is that everyone can see what you say and do on social media and other “public” platforms, so make sure you keep your reputation intact by acting professionally regardless of where you’re at or who you’re speaking with.
Providing good customer service is another area that is very important for reputation management. Though we all know it is more common for an angry customer to leave a negative review than it is for a happy customer to leave a positive review, this shouldn’t be an issue if you offer great customer service. The vast majority of your customers should be pleased with your service and it should be very rare that someone is unhappy. By sheer volume, you should be able to have many more positive reviews than negative reviews online and in social media if you’re doing your job right.
Another overlooked part of managing your business’s reputation is employee relations. There are several reasons that having good relations with your employees, the most obvious of which is so they work hard and do a good job. Moreover, having a good working relationship with your employees will ensure that they manage their personal reputations properly which will reflect nicely on the business. Additionally, you want your employees to spread the “good word” about how rewarding and fulfilling it is to work at your business instead of slandering it on social media and using word-of-mouth. Having a good buzz about your company can lead to better job applicants and help you obtain the best staff possible for your industry.