Important Ways For Small Businesses To Protect Their Reputation

The trouble with any business is that people only see the window dressing. If you run a restaurant for example, they only see the pristine table cloth, the napkins and the glittering silverware. They don’t see the turmoil going on in the kitchen, the care attention and effort that goes into each and every dish or the years of hard work and personal sacrifice from all parties that went into making the business what it is today. A good business is like a swan. It must be elegant, graceful and beautiful on the surface while a striving mass of activity beneath the surface. The trouble is that even the most elegant of swans can flounder every once in a while, or encounter something above the surface that ruffles its feathers.

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If you own a small business, you know that your reputation is everything. It’s what brings customers to your establishment rather than your competitors and what keeps them coming back to you again and again at the expense of all others. Every day in business, entrepreneurs face challenges that can damage their reputation from disgruntled customers to angry ex employees to tardy suppliers. If you’re to effectively manage your reputation, especially in your early years when your small business is vulnerable, you need to be proactive and assemble the infrastructure that will enable your business to keep its head held high at all times.

Lawyer up!

It’s important that your legal interests are protected should someone make a claim against your business. This will help to settle matters quickly and decisively without impinging on your business’ reputation. Thus you should have numerous attorneys on standby to protect your business in the key areas in which they often find themselves vulnerable. These include asn employee law firm like Ogletree Deakins, a business transaction lawyer and a tax attorney. By investing in the right legal representation you are well placed to protect your business’ reputation.

Always be training

Outstanding customer service is the key to ensuring that your reputation isn’t damaged by angry tirades from disgruntled customers on social media. While you can mitigate the damage caused by this (which we’ll get into shortly) your first line of defence is your customer facing employees. As such you need to invest in regular training and incentivize outstanding customer service with challenges, competitions and rewards.

Keep that cash flow healthy

Nothing will derail your business more than insufficient stock or cracks in the veneer of our physical store that just scream “underinvestment”. As such you need to ensure that your business maintains a healthy cash flow so that you can pay your debtors on time and ensure that you never experience lapses in normal service. Of course this is easier said than done but here are some pointers on maintaining healthy cash flow.

Be responsive and decisive on social media

Social media is a great tool for consumers to hold businesses accountable to them, but it’s important to manage interactions with customers on social media effectively. Ensure that someone is responsible for monitoring social media platforms for comments that could be damaging to your reputation. Deal with them openly and responsively on those platforms and demonstrate your willingness to make things right. Most customers can be turned around if you give them a platform to let you know what you can do to repair that relationship.

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