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Reputation Management for New Small Businesses
by Startacus Admin
Reputation Management for New Small Businesses - Lucy Harper shares some top tips on how to manage your business reputation when also managing the day to day duties of a small business.
When you’re in the throes of getting your new startup off the ground, one of the last things you’re likely to be concerned about is managing your business’s reputation. After all, you’re working hard, offering a great product or service and you’re passionate about exciting customers. So, what’s to be concerned about? The problem is that it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of day-to-day small business tasks and lose sight of the overall picture. While a narrow focus is sometimes necessary, it can cause you to make mistakes that lead to reputation damage. To avoid having your business reputation get dinged or take a major hit, follow these guidelines for small business reputation management.
Whether you have a brick and mortar storefront or operate an internet-based business, your efforts should always include the development of relationships. As your startup expands, you’ll develop relationships with employees, vendors, customers and other business owners. View each one as a valuable part of your business growth, and take the time needed to develop these important relationships. Your business won’t thrive if you’re operating like an island.
Respond to Negative Feedback
It happens to the best of us…no matter how hard you try, you simply can’t please everyone. When a customer has a bad experience, no matter what the reason, it’s important to address the issue and do what’s needed to fix the situation. If negative feedback or comments have been left online, respond in a professional and polite way. Choosing not to respond only makes it look like you don’t care.
Don’t Mix Business and Personal Life
Social media venues can play an important role in your overall marketing plans. Just make sure to keep your personal use of these venues separate from your business use. While you want consumers to view you as a person and not just a faceless business, you don’t want to compromise your professional reputation with posts or pictures about the latest party you attended or other aspects of your life having nothing to do with business.
Streamline Your Efforts
Reputation management is important, but it shouldn’t consume your day. Streamline your efforts by using tools such as Google Alerts or Social Mention. If you have an employee who’s particularly social media savvy, put him or her in charge of building your reputation and brand through regular social media activity. Delegating some of your efforts will allow you to focus on maintaining products and services that lead to business growth.
The best way to maintain your business reputation is through proactive measures. As a small business, you face stiff competition from other small businesses and large corporations. Taking a hit to your reputation can destroy all you’ve worked hard to build or exact a costly amount of damage. In addition to the steps you take to connect with consumers, investing time on social media management can help you build your business and brand while maintaining the kind of business reputation that will earn you loyal customers.
Lucy Harper works for Touchpoint Digital - a specialist media and digital advertising agency with experience in delivering strategic social media campaigns. Cheers Lucy for this well thought post.