Looking to ruin your business reputation? Of course you’re not, but care must always be taken. You will understand how bad word of mouth can scupper your business, and that’s not forgetting the consequences of bad press in the media. Once people get a negative impression of you or your business, you are going to need PR help and fast, before your business is forced to close its doors in shame and disrepute.
To stay on the right side of public opinion, take note of the following ways to ruin your reputation.
1. Breaking the law
Fast-tracking your way to failure, breaking the law is one way to ruin your reputation. No matter how well your criminal defense lawyer performs in court, once people are made aware that you have broken the law in any way, you are going to see people turn their backs on you. You may have unwittingly broken the law, but then again, you may have done something in either your personal or professional life that is going to discredit both you and your business for a long time to come. Tip: ensure you are up to speed on employment laws, don’t hang out with the wrong people, and for goodness sake, be a good person, in all aspects of your life!
2. Neglecting the needs of your employees
It’s in your best interest to keep your employees happy, as they may well gossip about you to each other, as well as people outside of your company. People will get wind of your bad track record as an employer, and you may struggle to hire new employees in the future. Of course, you know you’re in trouble when your staff stages a mass walkout, but before you get to that stage, treat your employees well. Adhere to health and safety, give your staff a fair wage, don’t place unfair expectations on them, and be an overall good egg and show care to the people who work for you.
3. Annoying your customers
Without customers, your business will fail – it’s as simple as that. But if your customer service is poor, if you bombard them with marketing, if you lose or misuse their data, and if you antagonise them in any other way, you can guarantee you will see the consequences. Your customers will boycott your business, spread the word on social media and internet channels, or even challenge you legally if you have done anything that could be classified as gross misconduct in your business. Our advice: keep your customers happy, as you may never recover once word of mouth spreads.
4. Opening your mouth
We aren’t saying don’t open your mouth, but you had better be careful what you say. Even when talking in jest, understand that people may misconstrue what you say. Avoid sensitive topics – politics, race, religion, and any other taboo subject – as your words may come back to haunt you. Think carefully before you say anything, whether that’s verbally or on your social media channels. One slip up of the tongue or press of the keyboard could be enough to destroy your reputation in minutes.
You’re not perfect. Mistakes may be made, and if you do happen to fall prey to any of the above, it’s in your best interest to apologise as soon as possible. Then, as you move forward, keep in mind the consequences of your actions, and resolve to never make the same blunders again. And if you’re currently squeaky clean? Then long may it continue. Hold your head up high and be proud of yourself.