The majority of business owners know that it can take many years to build their reputation — yet only mere minutes or even seconds to ruin it.
Today, there are many who are in the process of building their reputation, trying to maintain a positive one or rebuilding one. In running your business, where do you fall into place?
In today’s society, trying to opt out of proactive reputation management just isn’t an option anymore. But with proper education, you can rock your reputation and be in the forefront of your competition.
Protect yourself and understand that your opponents may see you as a threat. This is obviously a good thing, and clearly means that you are doing something right because your competition has noticed you.
Just make sure you are always on top of your game and educated about your competition, that way you will be prepared for any negative attacks.
Unfortunately, it’s very typical for some to prey on others failing. We just want to make sure our business is protected so we don’t become a victim of negative press.
Understand that some bad news is actually good news. With every negative, there can always be a positive attached.
I’m sure we all have heard about celebrities, businesses and role models who have had something negative said about them in the press, yet turned it into a positive. The opportunity got them into the public eye and they were able to turn the negative into a positive by publicly addressing what they planned to change and by proactively promoting how they can help others in the same situation.
It has worked for their benefit, and if done correctly can work for yours, too.
Be proactive. Deep down, we still may think that nothing can be worse than receiving bad press. Wrong.
The worst thing that can happen is for us to do nothing. If we do nothing then our competition wins, because we will have negative press and it will look like we are hiding that we did in fact perform the negative criticism.
However, not responding or responding without being educated on how to properly respond will end up doing the same harm.
So when you do respond, stay focused, don’t lie, make it factual and keep it free of arguments. Remember, nobody can damage you as much as you can damage yourself — if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Part of owning a business is to protect, grow and take steps to ensure that your accomplishments are noticed.
Unfortunately, though, at some point everyone is going to make a mistake. We just have to remember that no individual or business is ever safe from reputation attacks. However, we can overcome unfair criticism easily if we are prepared, able to take proper action and willing to discuss the complaint.
So make sure that you aren’t just managing your reputation, but that you are working every single day to improve it.
Michele Cuthbert is the CEO and creator of Baker Creative, a global WBE-certified creative brand management firm based in Ohio.