Small business reputations live largely online these days, though word of mouth and community presence still count. Ensuring your small business is held in high esteem from the get-go is a cornerstone of its future success. If you're not sure where to begin, Scott Allen of American Express Open Forum offers the following reputation-building advice for small business owners just starting out:
- Establish yourself and/or your company as experts in your industry by getting written content published online or in local print publications. "Keep your articles informative, not promotional, and relevant to the readership of the publication you're pitching to," Allen advises.
- Find other opportunities to educate your target customers, such as giving talks at local clubs or organizations in your field.
- Form relationships with people through networking both online and in person. Allen recommends signing up for LinkedIn to stay in contact with friends and former colleagues. "Remember that just publishing your own content via social media isn't networking — you also have to participate in conversations with others," he emphasizes.
- Keep in touch with those you've interacted with in networking situations. Allen recommends getting in touch within two or three business days.
- Always have business cards on you. You never know when you might cross paths with a potential customer or client.
- Be a contributing member of the community. Participating in local charity events or donating services or products to a non-profit organization will reflect positively on your small business. As a bonus, any contributions you make to local or national charities, which may double as advertising, will be tax deductible.
Incorporating your business can also have a positive impact on its reputation by lending it added credibility. To learn more about incorporation and the benefits of using a registered agent service, contact us today.