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How To Build A Strong Company Reputation

– Contributed content –

26 January 2018. Your reputation is probably the most important aspect of your business. More important than security, market research, or anything else. Your reputation can decide which doors open for your business and which stay firmly shut. The most difficult part about building a good one is that it can take many years to earn a strong standing in your sector, but a few rash decisions can ruin your reputation in a matter of minutes. It is important that you start to weave some rules about building a strong company brand into your daily working rhythm. This way, you can start to make positive changes almost unconsciously. Below are some of the best way that you can help to build a lasting reputation that will benefit your business.

Warren Buffett quote

(Flickr.com)

Time-keeping

Put yourself in your client’s or customer’s shoes for a second. If you had a meeting arranged, and that person turned up late for no discernible reason, would you want to work with them? Absolutely not. It’s a well-known saying that time is money. And when you waste your client’s time you are wasting both theirs and your money. Show them that you are taking everything seriously by turning up to any appointments with plenty of time to spare. An individual who cannot keep track of their own schedule is not an individual who can be relied upon. Set a precedent for being the person who is never late; this will build you a reputation as someone dependable. A useful mantra is ‘if you are five minutes early, you are ten minutes late.’ Always be at your destination in plenty of time and stick to your schedule religiously.

Accuracy

Mistakes cost money, and big mistakes can cost you your business. It is not just the cost of the actual error that will have a negative impact,  but the time and money spent resolving the error will also have a negative impact upon your business. Something as simple as making sure that your invoices are as similar to a quote as possible can help to prove that you are not someone who skips the little details. Taking the time to double check everything for accuracy will help to ensure that easily avoidable mistakes do not slow your business down and make you look sloppy.

Affability

Everyone has got one friend that they just can’t say no to. They’re always asking favors and taking liberties, but you don’t mind because they’re just so inherently likeable. That is how people need to feel about you and your business, though maybe keep the ‘liberty taking’ to a minimum. Take the time to build solid relationships with your clients and customers, get to know them beyond a simple professional capacity. Maintain professional boundaries, but be sure to push your relationship a little closer to friendship rather than keeping it all business. You may be offering a service or product, and money is changing hands, but that does not mean it has to feel cold and overly business-like. Get to know their interests and passions; you may have something in common that can bring you closer together, allowing you to build a lasting relationship.

Keeping promises

Whether it be a verbal or written promise, you should always do your best to deliver. You may have a project deadline or have promised to have a proposal or outline drafted. Do not make a promise you cannot deliver on, as it will make you seem untrustworthy and diminish the impact of your promises. It is always worth promising a little less and then over-delivering where possible. At the very least you should always be meeting those expectations that you have set out early on. By keeping those promises, however small, you show that you are someone who can be trusted to deliver, which will only work in your favor.

Integrity

If you don’t already have a set of personal guidelines written out that cover your business ethics, it would be wise to do so. It can be very easy to blur the lines a little every now and then, but that can quickly become a bad habit. Be strict with what you will and won’t do to win business. It may make it more difficult to win out against the competition in the early days, but soon enough you will start to build a reputation as someone who can be trusted to act professionally, courteously, and ethically during business transactions. It is much better to struggle a little as you build your reputation and then flourish than it is to flourish early and then have your business struggle because of a poor reputation.

Excel

Nothing builds a good reputation quicker than quality service. Delivering what you promised on time, with little fuss, and with excellent service is sure to impress your clients and have them recommending you with verve to their colleagues. Do your utmost to ensure that everything you do is second to none. Do not ever settle for something that is merely adequate; it must always be exceptional. Strive to be constantly innovating and changing to suit your market needs, meet expectations and exceed them without being prompted by your clients. Treat every transaction like you are trying to win your first customer, and you will build a reputation as someone who excels at what they do. Become the byword for excellence in your industry, and you will have clients queuing to work with you.

Hopefully, these tips have helped to underline the importance of building a strong company reputation. It is remarkably simple in theory to do all of the things mentioned above to build a trustworthy brand that is revered by your clients and competitors alike, but in practice, you will need a strong will and a few gentle reminders from friends or family to keep you striving for excellence. Make a list of your own rules to build a good reputation and keep them visible during your working day. Once you have struggled through to nurture and create your reputation, you will soon have clients and customers seeking you out because they have heard so many good things about you.

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