Beyond the Basics: How to build your small businesses reputation

Here’s a fact to start with. 85% of customers are likely to check on brands and products before buying them. This means that the significance of a good business reputation can’t be emphasized enough. And it’s not as if the need for a good reputation is restricted to small businesses. Big companies are also at risk of losing their reputation in the blink of an eye on adverse news. 

How to build your small business reputation 

While big companies can have dedicated reputation management teams, that’s not always feasible for small businesses. However, there are still plenty of ways that a small business can build a reputation. Here are some of them:

  • Develop reputational goals: Building a reputation isn’t a one-size-fits-all-all solution. Every business can have different goals on how they want to be perceived. A brainstorming session with your core team discussing your reputational goals is a good first step. For example, you might want to be perceived as having consistent quality for your vegan soap business. Alternatively, being seen as efficient might be key if you run an electronics repair shop. 
  • Protect the reputation: Prevention, as they say, is better than cure. So do take steps to protect the reputation you have built, not just with customers but also with your vendors and employees. From empty slander to damaging financial fraud, there are many risks to be considered. A good way to avoid financial fraud could be to simply use secure checks that can prevent forgery and block tampering.
  • Implement the objectives: Once you are clear on your target reputation, tailor your online or actual physical presence accordingly. For example, if you want to be seen as a friendly local coffee shop, the decor could be bright and cheerful. Instead, if your coffee shop is for working professionals, you might go for more siloed seating and a superior internet connection. 
  • Active social media management: With a lot of small businesses selling online now, social media management is critical. It can not only impact reputation but also grow sales. Ideally, a business’s social media should be in line with the bigger goals for the reputation it would like to have. As an aside, active engagement with responses on social media is key to building an online reputation.
  • Prompt customer support: Relatedly, any business is as good as its customers’ satisfaction. So, when customers are discontent, respond swiftly and ensure that the customers feel heard, and their issues are addressed. This is more likely to ensure that they come back to you and can even promote the business through positive word of mouth. 

The impact of building a reputation

While the most obvious benefit of having a robust reputation is increased sales, that’s not all. It can also have a positive impact on profits, as you might need to spend less on marketing and sales. If you have an established brand, customers will seek you out instead of you having to pitch products and services to them. 

Higher sales and growing profits can in turn accelerate growth for the business. As your business grows, you could have more funding for having a reputation management team. This in turn can help in boosting the reputation further. 

In conclusion

The key takeaway then is that focusing on your small business’s reputation can reap many benefits. Not only can active reputation management protect the business from risks like fraud, but it can also enhance the financial outcomes. This in turn can help grow the business further.

What’s more, simple steps taken to build a reputation can go a long way in supporting your business. Strategizing on how you want to be perceived can be a critical starting point here. Based on this, the storefront or online presence can be created. And once done, actively engaging with actual and potential customers can be very beneficial. As the business grows, even a reputation management team can be put in place that further cements a positive perception. 

Interesting Related Article: “8 Tips To Build Small Business Reputation On Social Media