Is Your Business Reputation Hurting?

It is 2013 and you have the opportunity for a fresh start.

You may be wondering why it is that you might need to start over. Could it be a bad reputation regarding you and/or your small business is making it difficult for you these days to consistently produce a good revenue stream?

Whether the information out on the Internet about you and/or your company is true or not, it could very well be leading to less customers, in turn meaning your return on investment (ROI) is not where it should be.

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If you find yourself in this position, just letting things go and hoping they turn around could be the kiss of death for your company. Instead, take the time now to see why your online reputation is not what it should be, do what it takes to fix it, and move forward with promoting the good things regarding you and your company.

Among the things to review:

* Why your reputation is questioned in the first place – First and foremost, determine why your online reputation is being taken to task. Is it a matter of a disgruntled employee, an issue you had with a customer, a disagreement with a competitor? Whoever it is that is bringing your online reputation into question obviously has a reason for doing such. Given how busy you likely are running your small business, you may not be spend much time online. As a result, you could very easily miss what is being said about you and/or your company, leaving open the possibility for damage to your reputation. Know the who, why and where facets behind discouraging online remarks so you know how to fight them;

* Fact or fiction? – Individuals may take to the Internet to try and besmirch your reputation for a number of reasons. It is important once you learn of such actions to determine if there is any truth behind what is being said. Are there comments being made that hold some validity and you simply chose to ignore them? On the other hand, is someone simply smearing you and your company’s reputation for their own gain? Know the facts so you know how to address the problem;

* Promote the positive – One of the best ways to put you back in a positive light, both in front of current and potential customers, is by promoting all the good things you and your small business offer. In the event you or your company’s name has received negative publicity online, work to change that. Use your company blog, press releases, positive social media interactions, customer testimonials etc. to increase your online resume. The more positive news that you can get to move up search engines such as Google, the less negative news will appear front and center when a potential customer does a search of you or your business;

* Be alert – Finally, don’t be caught off guard with negative comments directed at you and/or your small business. You can set up alerts through different software and sites to monitor what is being said on a regular basis about you and your business. Such alerts can oversee social media blogs and networks, online chat forums, images, videos and much more. If you don’t monitor such things, how can you fix a problem in the first place? Knowing where and what to look for decrease the chances of showing up in a negative light to potential customers.

If 2013 is the year you clean up and pay more attention to your online profile, make it count.

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Comments: 1

  • Maintaining a positive reputation is not as easy as it once was. As wonderful as all the online opinions and conversations are, it’s next to impossible to monitor them all. I have found that hiring a social media manager has allowed me to keep an eye on my company’s (and my own professional) reputation. First, she is able to keep our presence consistent across platforms and in terms of visibility. I know what is being said about my firm and for my firm. Second, my company can be replied upon for important, relevant information. I do not overwhelm my followers with sales pitches and marketing ideas. Because we are a company of integrity and authenticity, we’ve been able to maintain a strong reputation.
    Ken Schmitt

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