“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” — Warren Buffett
As you work hard to increase sales of your small business, you also should strive to maintain a positive presence in your community. Your reputation may seem like an intangible part of your business and your success may depend upon it.
Recently, while in line at a new dry cleaner, ready to try their services and enjoy grand opening prices, I noticed the owner speaking harshly to his employee. I quickly exited the shop with laundry in hand.
Sadly, this was not the first time I noticed negative behavior at a business. But when I see actions that are less than satisfactory, I go elsewhere; there is no shortage of service and product businesses in my town.
I am sure you’ve also noticed less-than-stellar behavior among store owners. And yes, there are days when things aren’t going well. But the walls, as they say, have eyes – and ears. Your reputation is everything in your community.
Here are key methods to ensure your small business is being viewed positively:
- Check the BBB. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) tracks consumer complaints against businesses as well as serves as a mediator between consumers and companies. Go to BBB.org, type in your name and zip code (or town, state) to see what, if anything, is being said about your business. Should there be a serious infraction, you’ll likely hear from the BBB first.
- Visit Social Media Sites. In today’s tech-savvy society, customers quickly share their experiences, both good and bad. Google your business name and see where it pops up. If you’re active within your community, chances are good your small business will appear in Yelp, TripAdvisor, or Foursquare.
- Talk to Your Customers. Knowing your clientele is important. Listening to them and providing solutions for their questions and concerns is sure to win them over. Customer surveys, either online or handed out by the cashier on a semi-regular basis also are useful. Keep them simple, and provide an incentive to entice them to fill out the form.
- Address Negative Remarks. As much as no one wants to admit it, sometimes it’s hard to please everybody. And sometimes customers can create situations that are less than advantageous to your business. Remaining calm, you need to thoughtfully work at addressing bad reviews and unhappy customers. You may learn something about yourself and ways to improve your business.
Helpful is our middle name. Contact Biz2Credit today for your financing and refinancing needs at (800) 200-5678, or visit us online at www.biz2credit.com. We look forward to working with you.