By Brian McKay

When you go shopping at a store, or you’re on the lookout for a company to clean your windows, manage your accounts or fix your roof, what factors influence the decisions you make? As a consumer, you may take a good look at the price, but it’s also likely that reputation will play a role. If you’ve heard of a brand for the right reasons, you’ve read rave reviews, or you’ve received recommendations from friends or colleagues, this may sway you towards certain products and providers. In business, having an excellent reputation can drive you forward and catapult you into the stratosphere. In contrast, a bad reputation can send sales plummeting. If you’re a business owner with grand plans, here are some tips to help you protect your reputation.

Delivering on your promises

If you own a business of any kind, you have a duty to ensure that you deliver on promises. If you’re marketing high-quality products or first-class customer service, you need to ensure that this is exactly what you’re providing. If you can’t fulfil orders on time, customers are waiting in line for hours or the products you’re selling aren’t standing the test of time, you may find that clients want refunds, they leave negative reviews, and they actively discourage others from choosing your company. If you make a promise, you could also face legal charges under acts that protect consumers. As the boss, you have to ensure that you act in the interest of your customers. If you can’t deliver on a promise, for example, there’s been a delay at the warehouse, act as quickly as possible and find a solution. If you’ve promised a customer next-day delivery, and you can’t achieve this goal, contact them, explain the situation and offer a refund. If you can nip problems in the bud, this will help to keep clients on side.

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Acting on reviews

Many of us read reviews before we buy products or invest in services. If you’ve got brilliant reviews, this can help to bring customers in. If you’ve received negative reviews, this can put potential clients off. If you’re asking customers to leave a review online or to post comments on your Facebook or Instagram page, make sure you act on this information. If people are taking the time to share their experiences or make suggestions, take their comments on board. In business, success is all about giving clients what they want, and feedback can be incredibly useful. It’s easier to read positive comments and glowing reviews, but negative testimonials can also be beneficial, as they enable you to identify issues and move forward. Consider a review that criticizes service in a restaurant, for example. If your customers aren’t satisfied, you know that you need to improve the service you provide. Offer training for your staff, make sure you’ve got somebody there to welcome customers at the door and be more attentive. If you’ve got a reputation for bad service, it doesn’t matter how brilliant the food is, there’s every chance that your business will struggle. For helpful tips on improving customer service, take a look at this article

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Running your business by the book

In business, you don’t want to have a reputation for cutting corners or see your name up in lights for the wrong reasons. You have a duty to ensure that the way you run your business satisfies legal guidelines. If you’re embroiled in tax disputes, or you’ve got employees making claims related to their working conditions or health and safety, this is likely to have a negative impact on your reputation. As a customer, you may think twice about giving your custom to a company that is linked to indiscretions or trying to exploit loopholes.

Recognizing the importance of your own behavior

When you’re trying to hit the big time in business, it’s not just the reputation of your company you should aim to protect. As the boss, you also need to consider your own reputation. If you’ve been charged with felonies or misdemeanors, this will affect the reputation of your business. Everybody makes mistakes, but it’s important to understand the potential impact. If you have committed a crime, take a look at sites like and make sure you have experts in your corner. If you’re the face of your brand, people are going to associate the company with your name and the stories they read in the media or hear about at the local store, cafe or school gates. Of course, it pays to steer clear of trouble, but if you do find yourself in a difficult situation, it’s essential to ensure you seek legal advice as quickly as possible.

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Building your brand

Branding is all about promoting your business and telling people what you’re all about. If you’ve got a strong brand, customers should have a clear idea about what your company does and the kinds of products and services you offer. When you’re working on branding, you want to communicate positive messages about your business and its ethos. Work on creating a brand that appeals to the target market and encourages clients to form a positive association between the brand name and the products they buy. Think about how often you go shopping and buy branded products. Many of us stick to recognized names because we link that brand to high quality.

Doing good

Competition is rife in the business arena, and it pays to have a USP. Today, many consumers are impressed by brands that go the extra mile to do good in the world. You could enhance your reputation by employing eco-friendly production methods, using recycled packaging or investing profits in conservation projects or you could form partnerships with local charities, for example.

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In business, it’s incredibly beneficial to establish a good reputation. You want customers to spout positive words and terms when they hear your brand name. If you’re trying to protect and enhance your reputation, take these tips on board to impress your customers and set your company apart from competitors, and ensure you have plans in place to respond to potentially tricky situations swiftly.

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