Whatever kind of business you happen to run, you are always going to have to make sure that you are keeping its reputation as strong as possible. A good reputation in business will very often take you further than anything else, and yet it is one of the hardest things to actually get right. There is so much that will go into ensuring you have a good reputation and that people are looking at your business in the right way.
Here are some small ways you can make people view your business in a better light:
- Be transparent. Be honest and open about your business practices. This includes being upfront about your prices, your products or services, and your return policy.
- Be responsive. Respond to customer inquiries and complaints promptly and professionally. This shows that you care about your customers and that you are willing to go the extra mile to make them happy.
- Be reliable. Do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. This builds trust with your customers and makes them more likely to do business with you in the future.
- Be helpful. Provide helpful information and resources to your customers. This could include things like how-to guides, FAQs, or customer support.
- Be positive. A positive attitude is contagious. If you are positive about your business, your customers will be more likely to be positive about it too.
- Be grateful. Thank your customers for their business. This could be done through a thank-you note, a discount, or a special offer.
- Be consistent. Be consistent with your branding, your messaging, and your customer service. This helps to create a strong and positive image for your business.
- Be different. Stand out from the competition by offering something unique or different. This could be a unique product or service, a unique marketing campaign, or a unique customer experience.
In this article, we are going to look at the act of managing how people view your business, including what you want them to think about your company and what steps you need to take to make that a reality.
The Qualities People Look For
A lot of this comes down to knowing what the qualities are that people look for so that you can effectively work towards developing and showcasing those. Some of these will sometimes depend on the nature of the business, and might be more relevant for one sector than another, but others are universal and will apply to all industries across the board. Some of the most important are those dealing with how your business engages with customers themselves: they want to know that you are a caring business that really wants your customers to be happy at all times.
Then there are the qualities to do with the ethical decisions that you make. If people have a feeling that your business generally does the right thing by the planet and by society, then they are going to have much greater trust in you, and will be more likely to recommend you to others as well, helping to improve your word of mouth marketing. As well as these, you might also want to develop a reputation for being hard-working, affordable, and a whole range of other things, many of which we will look at in some detail later on in this article.
To begin with some of the top-down decisions that you should be making – how can you ensure that you are starting to develop a good reputation and that people are generally getting a favourable impression of your business? Let’s take a look at some of the methods for ensuring this.
Building Reputation From The Ground Up
If you are thinking about specifically building your business’ reputation as clearly as possible from the ground up, that is a great way to approach things indeed. There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that you build a strong reputation in this way, and most of it comes down to branding your business in an effective manner. With good branding, you effectively have the tools to have people think whatever you need them to think about your business – though it is still important that you make a point of being honest and straightforward, of course. So what are the first steps to good branding?
First of all, you will want to decide on the overall impression that you want people to have of your business. That will likely depend on what and who your customers are, as you need to mostly be working towards their view of things, so a lot of market research into those questions is going to really help you here. Then it’s all about tailoring a brand image that fits to those desired qualities and so on, until people believe that your business is the one that is going to answer all their prayers and do so in a way that they find to be impressive.
Once you have decided on the branding tone and voice, and even its character, you then need to think about how you are going to keep that strong and unified. Without a good sense of it being unified, you will find that it is simply not going to work as well as it should. It is this consistency which really gives a brand its power, so it’s something that you are going to want to work on as best as you can. That could mean that you have style guides that your employees use when marketing or when communicating with the public, and it could mean that you need to think carefully about how you approach things like your social media too.
All in all, as long as you are branding consistently, you will find that you have a much better means of managing how people are viewing your business, and that you can do much more to keep the business’ reputation in check.
Giving The Impression Of Success
Something that a lot of business owners will want to do when they are early on in their entrepreneurial career is to try and ensure that their business is giving the impression of great success, even before this is technically the case. If you want people to be impressed by your business and to therefore trust is as a service that they are going to want to use, you will need to think about how you are going to make it look like it is a bit bigger than it really currently is. You don’t need to lie to anyone to give this general impression, but it is a good idea to try and show your business up as being big so that people inevitably have more of a trust for it while you are building the business for real. This will make things so much easier for you on the whole.
One way to make your business look bigger is to find ways to turn your existing communications systems into ones that seem like much more powerful options used by bigger businesses. So if you are running a business from home, you can easily give the impression of having a bigger business by using a virtual phone system which makes use of your home phone line. That way, people are going to feel as though they are getting in touch with a much larger business, and that really makes all the difference in the world.
Similarly, if you are not too happy with your address and you want people to believe that you are located somewhere more prestigious, then you can do so by making use of a virtual address, which is easy to find and get hold of online, and which can prove to be an absolute lifesaver. This is a great way of starting to give the impression that your business is a huge success, even before you have technically managed to get there for real.
As we have mentioned, one of the most important aspects to a business’ reputation these days is how ethical you are perceived to be by the general public. By acting ethically, you can ensure that your reputation is going to be improved greatly, and in a way where the benefits to the business are likely to be significant. If you are starting to think about this and you are unsure what exactly you might need to do in order to ensure that you are acting ethically, there are a few common places where you might want to think about starting.
A particularly important one for most people is that a business is doing everything it can to limit its impact on the planet and the environment in general. If you want to have this image, you can’t fake it – you have to actually make sure that your business is operating in such a way that you are helping to save the planet as best as you can. Recycling as much as possible, keeping your energy usage as low as you can get it, and generally taking sensible steps in that direction are all going to help – as long as you then make a deal of it in your marketing, of course.
It’s not just the environment that matters here, however. You can also think about looking at how you are treating your employees and ensure that you are doing so as ethically as possible. If you want to look after your employees properly, you need to pay them well, pay them equally and fairly, give them plenty in the way of benefits, allow for many opportunities to advance their career within the business, focus on health and safety, and make sure that the workplace is as good a place to work as any in many ways. That way, your employees will talk about how great it is to work for you, and that is going to help you in terms of getting more people interested in a job, but also in improving the reputation of your business more widely too.
As you can see, there is plenty that you need to be thinking about if you are keen for people to view your business as well as possible. As long as you have considered these things, you should find that your business is going to be in a much better position.