How to build a good reputation in business? An important question to answer for new business owners and startup entrepreneurs before launch. This article covers three characteristics contributing to positive business reputation followed by smart business leaders…
Business Reputation Management 101
Running a business can be a bit like juggling: You’ve got a lot in the air and you can’t drop anything without risking the loss of everything. It’s a delicate balance and it can be easy to focus exclusively on profits. After all, profit is why most people start businesses. They have an idea or product that they hope people will pay for.
So, a business owner might focus on:
However, there are other functions to considered that don’t have an immediate impact on profit. At the same time, they are still important for running a business.
Many business owners recognize that developing a good reputation is arguably very important How can you do this? Here’s how to develop a good business reputation…
The Benefits Of Running An Ethical Business
First and foremost, run an ethical business. While it might require a little more effort, the advantages usually far outweigh the increased time and energy. Being a business owner is something to be proud of. You can exude much more pride in your company if you know that it uses ethical business practices.
Also, running an ethical business will drastically reduce the number of problems caused by lawsuits. It will mean that you’re at decreased risk of incurring huge fines because of fraud.
Employees will be happier and more likely to stay with you because the workplace environment will be a positive one. They will know they’ll be treated fairly. Be:
To your employees, and your company can garner a positive brand reputation for those policies.
The clearest benefit to running an ethical business is the good business reputation you can gain. If your business is perceived favorably, then more potential customers will be attracted to your company over a less ethically inclined competitor. Your business will become known for this, before any marketing strategy or advertising push on your end.
If you also deliver a high-quality product and pay attention to your customer service, then you’re sure to develop a loyal customer base. It will feel good to be known for ethical practices.
The Benefits Of Running An Eco-Friendly Business Bring A Good Business Reputation
A few years ago, being environmentally friendly was more of a choice for businesses. Now, as climate change has become a hot-button issue recently, it’s increasingly clear that businesses need to make an effort to engage in sustainable practices.
The introduction of tighter environmental regulations and increased energy costs mean that businesses should aim to be ahead of the trend, environmentally speaking, so they can be prepared for future changes. The bad PR from causing needless waste and pollution is far higher now than once before. Especially because people are more aware of these issues.
Rather than thinking of the downsides of not being eco-friendly, it’s better to think of the advantages. One benefit is that sustainable practices can save money, even if it takes slightly more effort. For example, instead of discarding outdated electronics, you may be able to trade them in for a discount, or sell them. This way, you have a buffer against the expense of buying new electronic equipment.
Also, saving water and energy are easy ways to save money and the environment. Commercial buildings use 35% of the electricity consumed in the US, and an average of 30% of this energy is wasted. While you might not be able to become 100% energy efficient, there is certainly room for improvement.
Some companies produce their own power using renewable energy resources, installing solar panels or wind turbines to power their buildings. This might not be an option for all businesses, as it requires you to own the business premises, but it can result in huge savings. Even making a marginal effort to be less wasteful can have a positive impact.
Using renewable or green resources over plastic is also something businesses should consider. One highly visible way to do this is packaging your own material. While sometimes plastic is genuinely the best packaging to use, cardboard and paper can work just as well and has a much kinder impact on the environment. Customers do take note of these smaller details.
Eco-friendly practices can even lead to increased productivity for certain sectors, as more sustainable business practices tend to be far more efficient and streamlined to save energy and resources. This also saves time and money, which will result in increased revenue.
Apart from the immediate benefits to your company and the potential future benefits for the earth, eco-friendly businesses also enjoy a very good business reputation. As stated earlier, more people are becoming increasingly aware of these issues and are paying more attention to the companies that are doing their part to save the environment.
Customers will gravitate towards companies that they see as environmentally responsible, and some customers will even pay more for green products. Younger consumers are especially prone to this opinion, which suggests that this trend will continue to grow in coming years. As stated before, it’s always far better to be ahead of the trend.
An eco-friendly reputation will also make you popular with potential employees, and will help you to retain workers. According to some surveys, up to 52% of employed adults feel that the companies they work for should be more environmentally friendly. This suggests that both current and hopeful employees are also more likely to be satisfied with a company that engages in sustainable practices.
Again, this statistic leans towards younger employees, a group that is growing each year. So, it’s important to start down this road now.
The Benefits Of Being Involved In The Community
Another fantastic way to become known as a reputable business is to get involved in the community. If you have a smaller business, this could be simply a local event.
One common practice is for local businesses to invite students or undergraduates to intern with them, some even offering some form of scholarship to a few students. This provides a vital experience for the student, but can also be a potential boon for your business. That student can blossom into a future valued employee. It just takes a bit of investment on your part.
You might consider supporting acts of kindness. In 2020, many businesses did what they could to help out during the pandemic, despite increased economic pressures:
- Increased benefits for workers
- Discounts for loyal customers
- Free goods for healthcare workers
- Donations of money or goods
- Free services for certain customers
The goodwill returned to these businesses was enormous, and rightly so. Most people do recognize and appreciate the effort put in, especially if the company is a smaller one.
Other programs that may benefit local communities include:
- Setting up a public garden
- Donating to a local charity
- Regular volunteer work
When people see your brand involved in these gestures, they feel your company is part of the community. In turn, they may have a sense of loyalty toward your business.
It’s a similar principle to social media marketing, where the goal is to engage with as many customers as possible on a personal level. People can come to view multimillion-dollar corporations as their friends and willingly follow them on social media. Simply because the person in charge of social media makes them smile.
Other companies engage in charitable work on a far larger scale, essentially putting their community into a national or even global affair. An example of this is The Beachbody Company: A health and wellness enterprise that aims to help customers live healthy lives for the long-term. One notable part of this company is the Beachbody Foundation.
The Beachbody Foundation has the same mission-focused attitude as the company itself but instead directs its attention towards charitable endeavors. The foundation has raised over $12 million for a total of 36 different charitable organizations, all focused on helping those in need or who have experienced injustice.
This charitable branch of The Beachbody Company elevates its reputation among fellow businesses and customers alike. Employees are proud of being recognized as part of an organization that genuinely helps people, which boosts morale and attracts more future employees to that company. The Beachbody brand is only helped by these philanthropic efforts, which makes it a great example for other businesses.
Yes, not every company can dedicate that much time or resources to charity or to the community, but people do notice the efforts made. Even small-scale collaborations can foster good relationships between your company and the community. Just one of the benefits of having a good reputation in business.