All small companies need to establish their reputations as a matter of urgency. It’s the key to creating a loyal customer following, differentiating who you are and what you do, securing repeat business, growing your operations and increasing profitability. Your brand is shorthand for what you stand for and your vision and values as an organization. And once you’ve put the work in to develop that reputation, you won’t want anything to taint it. After all, reputations in business are hard won and easily lost. So how can you keep one of your most important business assets safe?
Evaluate Your Main Aims
When you first write your business plan, you begin with the end in mind. Considering what you want to ultimately achieve is the path to deciding what actions you need to take in the here and now. To grow your brand takes a lot of planning and foresight. You need to also take into account some competitor analysis and changes in the macroenvironment that will affect what you do – shifts in the economy, market and regulation changes, developing customer attitudes and wants and new technology as well. Your brand should always be at the forefront of these decisions, as it communicates to your customer base exactly who you are and what you’re aiming for.
Connect Using Content
Your social channels provide a direct line to your customers, allowing you to represent who your business is for and how you can best meet their needs. Creating great content is the key to being successful on these channels, so spend time thinking about how you can become a thought leader in your sector and what value you can add to your customer’s day – from tips and advice to authoring white papers, offering free webinars or giving behind the scenes peeks at what you do. Don’t forget the importance of customer reviews as well. Sites like BrandREVU can help you to manage and develop your online reputation – which in turn can win you extra business without any additional marketing spend.
Keep Your Quality High
You want to be a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to your products and service. Make sure you invest in proper customer service training to create a brand experience you can be proud of and keep hold of the customers that you attract. Studies show that a five per cent uplift in customer retention equates to a massive twenty five per cent additional profits, so you really can’t afford substandard service practice. In addition to that, you need to keep product quality high. Protect your brand reputation further by ensuring proper disposal of damaged, outdated or defective products so they aren’t out there representing your company. There is a huge grey market trading in these types of goods, so it pays to monitor that for your company’s well being.
Follow these simple steps and you can secure the peace of mind that you are doing your utmost to protect the company you’ve worked so hard to build.