You work hard to keep your small business running optimally and ensure that it stands out amongst its competitors. This is seldom easy and rarely fun but you do it because you’re passionate about what you do and care deeply about how your brand is perceived by your customers, other businesses and your employees. But with your attention pulled in so many different directions it can be hard to build the reputation that your business deserves while maintaining the quality control and standards that your customers have come to expect.
In an era where customers are growing increasingly fickle and the slightest misstep can see you lose your clientele to your competitors in droves, you walk on a razor’s edge. Take your eye off the ball in any of these crucial aspects of your business and the consequences for your SME’s reputation could be dire…
The products you sell are key to maintaining the reputation of their brand. But if you let your standards slip in terms of the quality of your components, it goes without saying that you increase your rate of product failure and your chances of alienating your customers. Is cutting the cost of a float switch more important than maintaining the integrity of your products? Of course not! Great products cannot be made from mediocre materials. As keen as you may be to cut down overhead costs, the quality of your components should not be an area in which you compromise.
Your blog posts, videos and cornerstone content like white papers and e-books are not only essential in giving your brand a voice and giving your customers a reason to keep coming back to your website, they also establish you as an expert and an authority in your chosen field. As such, the last thing you should do is allow your reputation to be tarnished by inferior, low quality, poorly researched, inaccurate or badly written content. If you handle your content in-house, ensure that you have an editorial strategy in place. Ensure that all contributing parties know the “house voice” and write to a brief approved by you. You should also make sure that you proof read everything that goes out.
If you choose to outsource your content, be sure to use a reputable company that hires talented writers who will get to know your brand and write in a way that’s congruous with your in-house content. Outsourcing to cheap overseas content farms may be cost advantageous but it can lead to a serious drop off in the quality of your content.
Your business is your baby, but the hard work, dedication and talent of your employees are the driving force behind it. Look after your employees by listening to them, respecting them, using the right techniques to keep them motivated, training them continually and giving them opportunities for development and career progression and not only will they reward you with their loyalty, they will wear their happiness on their sleeves. And you’d better believe that your customers will notice it!
Treat them poorly, however, and your customers will notice that, too. And few consumers are happy to buy from businesses who don’t take good care of their employees!