Gina Blitstein Article
|Gina Blitstein combines her insight as a fellow small business owner with her strong communication skills, exploring topics that enhance your business efforts. That first-hand knowledge, matched with an insatiable curiosity to know more about just about anything, makes her a well-rounded writer with a sincere desire to engage and inform.|
Three Ways to Raise Your Business' Reputation in the Eyes of Customers
Small business owners know that reputation is everything. The way your business is perceived by the public is more important than virtually any other factor, including what you sell, where you’re located, your pricing, the quality of your product… A good reputation must be nurtured and maintained as an integral part of your business’ identity. Customers are rightly wary of a business that lacks a reputation “for” something good. It’s a crucial way to set your business ahead of the competition and implant a positive impression in your customers’ minds. And a poor reputation? Well, all the clever and on-point advertising in the world won’t make a dent in repairing a damaged reputation.
The good news is, it’s never too late to boost your business’ reputation. Enlist one, two or all three of these general strategies to raise customer opinions of your business:
1. Stand for something - People love to feel that businesses they patronize have an agenda beyond simply making money. When your business promotes a bigger picture, customers believe that their purchases are more impactful than a simple financial transaction. Determine what your business stands for; it can be something related to your business or not.
As for deciding what your business stands for, consider:
It doesn’t matter what the cause, but that you support one (or more wholeheartedly). Your enthusiasm and the generosity of your efforts and time is what will communicate your dedication to customers. It’s that dedication that translates into a good reputation.
2. Be a good community neighbor - No matter what your business is, it has a physical location. Whether it’s an office building, a manufacturing facility or a desk and file cabinet in your home’s spare room, it resides somewhere within a community. The other businesses and residents of that community will welcome a good neighbor who takes an interest in the people and activities therein. Join organizations, organize and participate in events, donate to local causes...become active on a local level. Discover ways that your business can help with or provide for needs within the community. When your neighbors observe your interest and dedication, they will embrace you as a valuable member of the community who is willing to work for the betterment of all who live and work there. These engagements build a well-known and strong reputation within the community.
3. Give back - Your success is your legacy that stretches ahead of you through time. Think of the success your business enjoys as a valuable resource to be shared with others. Offer the unique gifts only you can give to those traveling the professional road a few steps behind you. Sponsor an intern who is anxious to learn your trade. Mentor up-and-coming professionals who could benefit from your years of accumulated wisdom. Work tirelessly for higher standards or better conditions for your industry and for those working within it. These actions will cement you in the minds of customers as someone who is passionate about her work and the future of your industry. A well-rounded career that includes a hearty portion of selfless effort on behalf of others is the hallmark of a strong reputation.
A good reputation won’t come to you automatically but it’s quite easy to build one. That good reputation will serve you well as it demonstrates to customers that you are among the “cream of the crop,” willing to put forth the extra effort to use your business as a vehicle for doing good for others.
How do you foster your business’ good reputation?
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