What would you say is your reputation as an individual and that of your business, and will you like to learn how to build it? A good reputation for you as a person is very important for many reasons. Likewise, in your line of business also, it is important that you equally build a good business reputation.
There are many reasons why people patronize a business enterprise or hold an organization in high esteem.
One of the major reasons is the reputation the business has been able to build.
This refers to the general public’s beliefs and opinions about that business establishment and the owner.
When people generally believe that you are not good enough or lack credibility as a business, that’s a bad reputation.
On the other hand, when the general public trusts your firm and has a strong belief in your products and services, both in quality offered and credibility, that’s a good reputation.
The type of reputation you have built for yourself within your industry goes a long way in determining how successful you will be in your career path and your business.
This is because it dictates how much influence you have on people.
And also the level of impact your business will have.
A few of the benefits that come from building reputation will be discussed as we go further in this article.
Also, whether you are just starting your business or you’ve been in business for a while, you will learn actionable plans and strategies you can put in place to build your reputation.
But first, let us see what reputation means and why it’s important to build it.
How to Build Reputation – What is Reputation?
Reputation refers to the general opinions or beliefs about someone or something.
It is what people think about a person or in this context also a business.
This is based on the evaluation of certain factors and criteria.
Usually, the reputation of someone or something is judged primarily on behaviors/moral values and also performance.
That means when we talk about building reputation, it has little to do with who you feel you are or convince yourself to be.
Rather, this depends solely on what others perceive you to be.
Therefore, sometimes you might feel strongly that you are on the right track in your moral ethics and work performance.
However, the question is: “Do the general public see you like that?”.
It is what others perceive of you and your business or brand that is your reputation among others.
By series of actions and behavioral patterns, you can either build a bad reputation for yourself or a good one.
Having a bad reputation means that people generally see you as someone with a bad name or standing.
On the other hand, building a good reputation means that you are held in high regard and esteem, and others look up to you.
People with a good reputation are usually more respected in society and seen as better role models than those who have a bad reputation.
As it is with individual reputation, so it is also with business or brand reputation.
Having seen what this means then, let us see why it is important to build one’s personal and brand reputation.
Building Reputation – Why is it Important?
Having a good reputation in your community and outside is very important for you as an individual regardless of what you do.
In a similar vein, if you are a business owner, one of the first things you should do for your business is building a brand reputation.
Here are some of the benefits that come from building a good reputation:
A Good Reputation Gives Increased Customers and Sales
If we check people’s purchasing habits and pattern these days, a lot depends on the reputation of a business brand in determining purchases than other things.
When a new company enters the relatively unknown market, that firm hasn’t built a reputation.
It would be more difficult for such a company to conquer the market and make sales if competing with one that already has a good reputation.
And that is why brands that we have known for many years and have come to trust can release new products/services anytime and we key into them.
Even if we are not familiar with such products, we are willing to try them out simply because the company has built a fine reputation.
That is the way it works in business and how it influences people’s decisions in patronage.
Hence, if you build your brand reputation, you will see your customers drastically increase and you make more sales.
Building Reputation Help Reduce Marketing Costs
One of the expenses that drain businesses today and eat deep into their budget and finances is marketing expenses.
The reason for this is clear, as every business owner knows for sure that a product will not just sell itself without good marketing.
However, surprisingly, some products sell themselves with little or no marketing costs incurred at all.
What will do the marketing of such products for you is your brand reputation.
When you build a good brand reputation, people naturally gravitate towards your company.
And this is without you having to “talk too much”.
With a good reputation comes a large customer base.
As such even when you release new products/services, you already have an active audience to interact with it without too much marketing.
Hence, without breaking the bank, you can get the information about your products out there in no time, and get patronage without having to convince too much.
A Good Reputation Earn your Increased Referrals
One of the fastest ways of gaining more customers and growing your business is through referrals.
While starting a business enterprise, many successful entrepreneurs will tell you that they only did adverts and marketing at the start for recognition.
Most of the customers were acquired after that.
Eventually, sales closed are a result of referrals.
It pays when your customers are ambassadors for your brand, more so when they are even doing it for free.
You want people who buy from you to tell their colleagues, friends, neighbors, and family members about your business.
However, these also have a reputation to protect.
And as such, if your brand does not have a good reputation, you will not have people telling others about it.
If you have a bad reputation, people will start avoiding you.
They will also not tell others to patronize you.
At worse, they will tell others why they should not even buy from you, which is a bad review for your business, and affects sales.
Building Reputation Gives You More Business Opportunities
This explains why most times businesses have been around for a long time and have more opportunities.
They have a good record of excellence and get better opportunities than new ones.
When you build your brand reputation, it is easier to approach other businesses for collaboration and partnership deals and they will accept such.
This is because they have come to trust what your brand represents and are confident that they won’t go wrong collaborating with you.
Additionally, you might not necessarily even be the one approaching these businesses for deals.
But you will have more lining up to partner with you as well.
Everyone wants to be associated with someone of excellent moral standards and top performance.
And this is what building a good reputation is all about.
With your fine reputation both as a person and as a business, your opportunities to close more deals and in the process make more money will increase.
Building Reputation Helps You Stand Out from the Competition
As an example, do you know how many brands of detergent we currently have in the world?
It would surprise you to know that there is a lot of them.
However, how many do you know or patronize when you go to a store or supermarket?
Perhaps, just 2 or 3 of the most popular ones.
To be sure, it doesn’t always mean that these brands you know and use are better than other brands, as others too might be just as good.
But what the popular ones have been able to do is build a brand reputation of excellence and quality service.
And that is why they have successfully set themselves apart from the competition and stand out.
In a similar vein, if you build your brand reputation, it is a vital step in distinguishing you from other competitors in your industry.
And you need this distinction if you are to stand a chance of survival in your competitive field.
Building Brand Reputation Helps in Attracting the Best Talents as Employees
One of the toughest yet important decisions that a business owner has to make is hiring the best employees.
While there are so many candidates available out there, getting the best ones should be your priority.
Well, one thing that can make this easy for you is building your brand reputation.
Just think about some of the big brands with a good brand reputation we have around.
Do you know how many people, the best talents out there, are itching to work for these organizations?
At this point, for those, it is not even about the money or what they hope to earn.
Rather, they get the opportunity to work for such a reputable organization.
That is one great thing a good brand reputation can do for you.
And there is no saying how beneficial having the best talents as employees would be for your business.
It Improves Your Personal Relationship with Clients
The goal of every business establishment is to have a customer base that is more than just products buyers, but one they share a great relationship with.
If you want to build a good personal relationship with your customers, one thing that can help is building a good reputation.
It is just the same way it is with forging relationships with individuals, where people are more attracted to those with a good reputation.
Therefore, if your reputation as a business owner and a brand is great, your clients will be closer to you, and the relationship goes beyond just trading.
How to Build Reputation – Things You Must Do
The first thing you should have in mind when it comes to building a reputation is that it doesn’t happen in a day.
If anything, your first introduction to your industry comes without any reputation attached to your brand or worse yet a bad one, since reputation is subjective.
However, whether you want to build a brand reputation now, or you have a bad reputation that you want to correct, it is not too late.
You can take the following actions to improve and build your reputation both on a personal level and for your business brand:
How to Build Reputation – Build a Great Customer Service
One of the departments in your organization that can greatly affect your reputation whether for good or bad is customer service.
The way you treat customers through your customer service can either give you a good brand reputation or a bad one.
Companies that hold customers in high regard and give them premium service with respect and honor are favorably talked about by customers.
Customers are naturally satisfied with such companies, and they see them as top professionals.
On the other hand, if your customer service team is unprofessional in the way they attend to customers, the reverse is the case.
Such companies have disgruntled customers, who are quick to point out your company’s unprofessionalism.
This would create a bad image and reputation for your firm, which would soon be the way you are perceived by the general public.
Keep to Your Words
Building credibility and building reputation go hand in hand.
One of the fastest ways to lose credibility and also have a bad reputation is by saying one thing and doing another.
Honesty is a bedrock of good reputation, and a quality every business needs to cultivate.
Keeping to your words will suffice in your products and services, ensuring that what you claim about them is true.
If your products involve the use of certain ingredients, you want to ensure you state the exact facts about them.
You also need to keep to your words in your dealings with business partners, employees, and customers.
When people can vouch for you that whatever you say is what you are or what you do, it builds your brand reputation.
On the other hand, making lying a habit or not proving true to your words or claims will only earn you a bad reputation.
This is quite similar to being honest and keeping your words.
But we have decided to make it a separate point, due to the importance.
To build reputation, one important element is trust.
And for you to get others to trust you, you must practice transparency.
As a business, you shouldn’t always leave your customers guessing about what values you offer.
Also, you should be transparent about the key components of your services.
Your business should be more like an open book, where everyone sees what is going on.
Even at difficult times, own up to this and make yourself vulnerable if need be.
There is no point in hiding important facts from your employees and your customers.
This is if you want to be seen as credible and gain a good reputation.
Try to be as open as possible even when you are uncertain about how that will turn out.
It makes people respect you more, and help build your reputation.
Under Promise and Over Deliver
Another practice that can help you in building brand reputation is under-promising and over-delivering.
What this means is that you should not make your promises too big such that you eventually fall short of fulfilling them.
Instead, it is better to make little promises and end up exceeding the expectations of your customers during execution.
When you do this, it shows you are a trustworthy brand.
And people know that you don’t promise what you cannot fulfill.
That in turn will build your reputation.
Collect and Share Positive Reviews
When deciding on whether to patronize a brand for the first time, one of the things people look out for is reviews.
They want to see and hear from those who have patronized such brands before.
This is to confirm whether or not they are satisfied with their services.
A company that has a lot of positive remarks by way of reviews easily comes off as one with a good reputation.
Hence, while trying to build a reputation, you must create a system for the collection and sharing of customers’ reviews and feedback.
This would go a long way in building your brand image and reputation.
Avoid Gossips and Badmouthing
One of the bad practices that can quickly ruin a person’s reputation is harmful gossips, backbiting, and badmouthing others.
And this can also be applicable in building brand reputation.
Unless you are a gossip blog that creates its reputation off gossiping about celebrities and other people, you should limit your take on other businesses in your industry.
People already understand that your industry is competitive, but what they want to see is you competing fairly.
Hence, spending much time talking ill about other businesses and/or their owners will not help your reputation.
But when you show good morals, mind your business, and compete fairly, it can help improve and build your brand reputation.
Be Devoted to Helping Others
There is a natural tendency for one to be solely interested in his selfish interests and motives.
However, that kind of attitude cannot help you build a fine reputation.
As an individual and as a business, your goal should be to be known as one who is devoted to helping others.
So when assisting your employees to improve their skills and do better at their jobs, or doing good things for your customers, you should be at the forefront of helping others.
This would show people that you are a team worker and not just interested in your selfish interest.
And that would in turn help you build your reputation.
Maintain High-Level Professionalism
The kind of image your business has especially online and in your community also contributes to the type of reputation you will build.
You need to desist from unprofessional acts and attitudes that can paint your business brand in a bad image.
Instead, whatever you do, you must maintain the topmost level of professionalism.
Doing this will contribute to you building a good reputation for your brand.
People want to do business with individuals and business organizations that are reliable, either as customers or partners.
Reliability would involve being able to vouch for you to come through on projects and tasks.
Reliability is also an indicator that says you can be counted on to meet deadlines, and producing quality work output at all times.
Anything short of this can affect your reputation as a person and a business.
How to Build Reputation – Final Thoughts
A close look at the tips we’ve mentioned above on how to build reputation would show you that these are the best qualities we all value in people.
When we have people in our close circle or even those we know from afar who exhibit these traits, we naturally respect them and gravitate towards them.
That is how strongly a good reputation makes people feel about you.
Therefore, if you also build a fine reputation for yourself and your business, it will help open up many opportunities for you and lead you to success in your business endeavor.