Your Business Reputation: Something to Talk About

The phrase “His name is mud” came from the story about a man named Samuel Mudd who was thought to be a co-conspirator in Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. His conviction was later overturned, but nonetheless, the phrase stuck with him and for more than a hundred years later.

How do you want to be thought of or remembered? It’s really within your control how you will create lasting impressions. The best way to secure a solid lasting business reputation is to adhere to a code of conduct of how you live your life. Take a long hard look at yourself; your ideals, values, and beliefs. These are the essential principles that dictate how you will conduct your business.

If you follow these steadfast business rules your business reputation will be at the top of its game:

• Always offer over-the-top service.
• Be on time. If not, let someone know pronto.
• Keep your promises – always. Otherwise, don’t make them.
• Pay on time. If you can’t, negotiate with your vendors. Least of all, don’t hide.
• Take care of your employees and they will take care of you.
• Admit your mistakes and move on.
• Learn to say no.
• Speak less than others. But when you do make it count.

You may say, “These rules are easy!” If they were so easy then why do so many businesses fall short of them? It’s because too many business owners reject the idea of ‘living’ a sound set of principles or standards. They fail to understand that a business reputation is more than a chart or the bottom line of your financial statement.

As business is about people so is your business reputation. People don’t care what your bottom line says as long as they feel they can trust you. They don’t care if you’re the size of Dell or McDonald’s. Your customers value you as a local business as much as the largest online company. They will listen not only to online reviews but to what their neighbor or fellow church-goer has to say about you and your business.

When you follow these simple rules they will make a difference in three areas: how you are seen by others, how your employees see you and how you feel about yourself. And believe me, how you feel about yourself and your business will dictate what others see.

It takes years to build a decent business reputation. It’s similar to building a close friendship – founded on trust, honesty and loyalty. As you grow and your business matures your may or may not be the richest woman in the neighborhood but you will be at peace with yourself. The objective in life is not only to make a pile of money but to get pleasure from the journey towards your goals.