In business, your reputation matters. Garner a bad reputation and your customers won’t want to buy from you, clients won’t want to work with you, and your staff will flee your business like the sinking ship it will inevitably become. Still, if you are keen to ruin your business reputation, we have some ideas for you here. Alternatively, do the logical thing, and consider these examples as a warning for business practices you need to avoid.
- Neglect your employees
Do you rule your employees with an iron fist? Are working conditions a health and safety nightmare? Do you know your staff by their national insurance numbers and not their names? Congratulations, your employees probably hate you, and you can guarantee you are the subject of gossip, in and out of the office. Before you are hit with a legal claim through a personal injury attorney or face the wrath of a workforce on strike (hello local media), get in touch with the needs of your employees and offer them the respect they probably deserve.
- Misuse social media
Social media is great…until it isn’t. Unfortunately, the world and it’s uncle can see everything you post, especially on Twitter, and the wrong thing can destroy your reputation in seconds. Criticise somebody or show affiliation to a wrong cause, and news of your tweet will go viral. Then there are those embarrassing photos on Facebook that you really shouldn’t have uploaded. You can become both a laughing stock and an embarrassment to yourself and others, so preserve your reputation in the digital age by securing your privacy settings and keeping your personal life (and opinions) away from the prying eyes of others.
- Always turn up late
Sometimes, there will be a valid excuse. Your car may break down, family matters can arise, and your busy work brain can cause absent-mindedness. However, if you are late for work or client meetings 9 times out of 10, the excuses will start to wear a bit thin. Not only will you ruin your credibility, but you will lose the respect of the people you work with. Eventually, they will continue without you, and those invites to business lunches and meetings will be non-existent.
- Disrespect your customers
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, and you disrespect them at your peril. Ignore a refund request, criticise a customer, or fail to answer the phone, and you can guarantee you won’t hear the end of it. Not only will they let their friends and followers on social media know about your failings, but they may write scathing reviews about you on sites such as Yelp.Your reputation will go down the drain along with your business if you don’t show your customers value, so make them a priority.
- Leak company data
It’s unlikely you would do this on purpose – unless you really are trying to sabotage your business – but accidents do happen. For starters, your computer system may be vulnerable to hackers, with easy to guess passwords or a lack of a firewall. Leaving your computer open for others to see is also tantamount to disaster, as is letting sensitive documents sit for ages in the printer. So, focus on security, tighten up your computer software, and ensure sensitive material can never be seen by others, whether that’s other employees or any passerby coming into your workplace.
For your business to grow, and to earn respect from others, you do need to avoid the examples given. Your credibility is everything, and while you can bounce back from your mistakes, it’s easier to avoid them altogether.
Reputation Reflects Character
Your reputation is a reflection of your character. We’re all human and we all make mistakes but if these five ways to ruin your reputation in business are the norm for you, you’re in trouble. Your character impacts your reputation and your reputation affects your brand and your brand affects people’s decisions to do business with you. It’s that simple.
Cultivate the best possible reputation so that people love doing business with you, and feel safe referring their friends, family members, and even clients to you because they know you’re the real deal and that you’re going to deliver.