Your business is brand new and hasn’t even started accepting clients or making sales yet. Why do you need to care about its reputation?
The simple fact is that your business is building its reputation from the minute you decide to start your own company. Sure, you could wait for major problems to happen, but here are a bunch of reasons that you should not do that:
It is easier to repair little problems as you go than to try to repair major problems later on.
In this respect, your reputation is like anything else—fix the scratch now before it becomes a huge gash on the table. Go to the dentist every six months to catch small problems so you don’t find yourself getting fitted for dentures later on. You get the idea.
You set yourself up to look great from the start.
If you set yourself up to look fantastic from the very beginning, you will build trust with potential customers and investors. You’ll invite success instead of having to work extra hard to prove that you’re worth noticing.
It’s harder to tear down a great reputation.
Someone who, for fun, trashes a business that is already well respected and trusted is going to be called out for being a troll. If you haven’t built up this reputation, people might give credence to a troll’s reports.
You can help your business look great from the get-go.
How you respond to embarrassments, negative feedback, etc., says a lot about you and your company. Taking care of problems as soon as they happen shows attentiveness. Taking on problems in a positive way will show that you value your customers and that you are good at making the best out of a potentially bad situation.
A good reputation increases the value of your company.
The better your small business reputation, the more valuable your company becomes. This helps you bring in more investors. It helps you attract more customers. It helps you when you want to network with other professionals in your field and form other business relationships.
It helps with your branding.
Everything you do helps you build your brand. Why wouldn’t you want your brand to be associated with attentiveness, positivity, and trust from the very beginning?
Remember, while you’re building your business and working to get it off the ground, your personal reputation will matter just as much as your company’s reputation. People want to know who they are hiring or who is selling things to them.
This is why it is important to make sure that your own personal reputation is as polished as possible before you launch your business.
Trust me: Doing the groundwork now—even though it might feel futile—will pay off in profits later!
Erin Steiner has written about reputation protection for outlets all over the web.