If you own a small business, you’ve definitely experienced some competition.
With new businesses popping up every day, it can be hard to stay afloat. Companies nowadays must rely on their reputation to stay alive and continue bringing in new business.

If you’re a small business owner, your reputation is everything – and there may be reasons as to why yours isn’t exactly where you’d like it to be, among which can include:
Poor customer service
This is the biggest contributing factor to a poor business reputation.
If you have less than ideal customer service, people will complain. They will tell their friends, write poor reviews online and will be highly unlikely to do business with you again. We live in a world that’s all about customer service. Train your employees on providing the best, and make sure every customer leaves satisfied. If customers have a good experience at your place of business, they will only tell a handful of people; but if they have a bad experience, they will shout it to the world.
Not responding to negative feedback
Every business is bound to get poor reviews and handling negative customer feedback must be your forte’. Your customer service will make all the difference in the world.
If you ignore customer complaints or poor reviews, you’re only hurting yourself. Think of complaints as a way to improve your business. The customers are the people keeping you in business, so it’s extremely important to keep them happy. If a customer sees that you fixed a problem and went out of your way to make them feel better, they will most likely return to your place of business. At the end of the day, don’t delete or try to push back negative reviews, respond to them and fix the problems.
Being oblivious
The final reason as to why your business reputation may stink is because you aren’t even aware of what it is.
Don’t fall victim to this and make sure you play an active role in improving your business reputation – both online and offline. Realize how important this is to your success, and work at making it the best you possibly can. Create a company website and update it often while also responding to feedback. Be the front-runner of your business. Remember, only you are in charge of your reputation.
How to improve your reputation
If your reputation isn’t where you’d like it, there are ways in which you can improve it.
First and foremost, strive to be the best business you can be. Always be honest and always provide fantastic customer service. Encourage satisfied customers to visit your website and write a review for you. Most people won’t mind doing this and it never hurts to ask.
Consider working with a business reputation management company that works specifically to improve your reputation, if needed. If you’re a good business and always seek to do the right thing, a good reputation will follow.
About the Author
Sarah Brooks lives in Glendale, AZ with her husband and daughter. She’s a freelance writer covering a wide variety of topics, from personal finance and small businesses to food and nutrition.